Kivu Resources has abandoned plans to develop industrial-scale mining of the Bisiye deposit in North Kivu, according to Bloomberg. Bisiye has been the main location of artisanal mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo in recent years, but continuing instability in the area has prevented planned investment. Kivu Resources is a private international mining group mainly owned by Jonah Capital, Coronation Capital and Metmar.
The company’s board blocked plans to spend $28 million developing Bisiye, one of Congo’s largest tin deposits 200 kilometers (124 miles) west of North Kivu’s capital, Goma, General Manager Brian Christophers told Bloomberg. Soldiers from the Congolese national army’s semi-integrated 85th brigade have occupied the mine since December 2004. “We can’t work there,” Christophers said. “The soldiers threaten us and throw us off the property. The government promises to sort it out and we go back, but the same thing happens.”
In February this year the DRC’s Mines Minister banned artisanal mining in the area, but the ruling was overturned by the local government. Kivu Resources now intends to focus its attention in the DRC on the more stable Katanga province, where it is exploring a 3,000 km2 concession near Manono, one of the main historic centres of tin production in the country.