Tiger Resources developing mining expertise in Africa working with Cube Consulting
Tiger Resources has successfully made the transition from explorer to producer, operating the Kipoi Copper Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The DRC copper belt includes some of the highest grade copper deposits in the world, but the industry relies on experienced mining professionals from other regions to train the local workforce. The end result needs to be a competent and effective local team who have drawn on the knowledge of more experienced geologists and engineers to grow the expertise within the country.
The first challenge for Tiger was to produce a satisfactory resource model that would meet JORC guidelines and also provide a robust and predictable result. Tiger’s initial resource model was estimated using ordinary kriging. Brad Marwood, Managing Director – Tiger Resources was not satisfied that the model appropriately represented the higher grade portion of the resource and recognised that a more sophisticated modelling technique was required.
A further challenge for Tiger was that some Australian consulting companies were not prepared to work in the DRC due to perceived political risk and lack of appropriate insurance.
A third challenge was to ensure that knowledge is transferred to the local workforce onsite and that these people develop their skills for the future benefit of the company.
The first engagement between Tiger Resources and Cube Consulting was when Brad Marwood contacted Cube Consulting to remodel the Kipoi Central deposit. He was aware that a number of the Cube geologists had postgraduate geostatistical qualifications and was satisfied Cube had the depth of expertise required to model the deposit. Uniform conditioning was selected as the most appropriate method and reconciliation project to date has indicated that the model is appropriate from both a geostatistical, as well as a geological point of view.
Tiger has employed Cube consultants to train the local staff in the use of their Surpac software. In addition, Cube Consulting has satisfactorily implemented the GCX grade control system on site. The technical skill levels have improved at the Kipoi Copper Project and once the training phase was completed, Cube moved into more of an ongoing mentoring role.
Once the resource model was complete, Tiger Resources was able to work with the Cube mine engineering team to advance the project through from scoping to feasibility. The engineering team has ongoing technical input into optimisation and reserve reporting for the project.
Cube Consulting has staff with African experience, which was a great benefit when working in the DRC.
Cube Consulting’s geostatistics expertise, combined with a realistic and practical approach to the geological interpretation has improved the predictability of the resource model. The resultant model predictability allows Tiger Resources to drive the business harder to achieve robust and predictable outcomes.