By Ing. Rob de Bruijn,

In a landmark move poised to redefine the industrial landscape of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MIBA (formerly La Societé minière de Bakwanga ) announces ambitious plans for the revitalization of its diamond mining operations in Mbuji-Mayi. This endeavor, born from a legacy of greatness and a commitment to excellence, represents a beacon of hope for the region and a testament to the enduring spirit of resilience.

A Journey of Transformation

The journey of MIBA is a tale of triumphs and tribulations, tracing its roots back to its inception in 1919 with the singular goal of harnessing the mineral riches of the Mbuji-Mayi area. By the 1950s, MIBA had ascended to unparalleled heights, boasting the world’s largest diamond deposit, with estimates exceeding 300 million karats. In 1963, MIBA’s dominance was undisputed, producing a staggering 80% of the world’s industrial diamonds and 57% of all diamonds.

However, the passage of time saw the decline of MIBA’s fortunes, with production plummeting to below 2% of the global output by 2017. Neglect and mismanagement, remnants of a bygone era, had cast a shadow over MIBA’s once-glorious legacy, leaving it in dire need of rejuvenation.

Revitalizing MIBA: A Story of Resilience and Renewal

A Bold Vision for the Future

In a historic meeting on January 30, 2018 in Mbuji Mayi  , MIBA unveiled its ambitious roadmap for revival, comprising two pivotal stages aimed at breathing new life into its operations.

  • Stage 1: Upgrading MIBA Diamond Mine

With a substantial investment of USD 288 million, MIBA embarks on a comprehensive upgrade of its diamond mining facilities. This includes the introduction of cutting-edge Caterpillar machinery, integrating ThyssenKrupp stone crushing and washing operations, establishing a new X-ray center, and the creation of a state-of-the-art cutting-polishing factory. These initiatives, underpinned by a commitment to innovation and efficiency, lay the groundwork for MIBA’s resurgence as a global leader in diamond production.

  • Stage 2: New Cement Factory

Building upon the success of Stage 1, MIBA sets its sights on diversification with the construction of a new cement factory. With an investment of $333 million, this ambitious venture encompasses the establishment of supporting industry machines and transport belts, the creation of a fire brigade and company education school, the development of workshop facilities, the acquisition of transport trucks, collaboration with a road construction company, upgrading of hydro plant and power lines, and the construction of concrete and stone factories. These initiatives not only expand MIBA’s portfolio but also contribute to the socio-economic development of the region.

Revitalizing MIBA: A Story of Resilience and Renewal

A Commitment to Excellence

At the heart of MIBA’s revitalization efforts lies a steadfast commitment to excellence and sustainability. By harnessing local knowledge and international expertise, MIBA seeks to leverage the rich natural resources of the Mbuji-Mayi area while fostering a culture of innovation and responsibility. From safety and security measures to the promotion of skilled labor and the support of local industries, MIBA is dedicated to creating a legacy that transcends generations.

Looking Ahead

As MIBA embarks on this transformative journey, the echoes of its past reverberate with promise and possibility. With each step forward, MIBA reaffirms its commitment to reclaiming its rightful place among the industry titans, heralding a new era of prosperity for Mbuji-Mayi and its surrounding communities. In the face of adversity, MIBA stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit – a beacon of hope shining bright amidst the darkness, illuminating the path to a brighter tomorrow.

The entire process of 621 million USD was completed by us in collaboration with Royal Capital Qatar in Doha and LEONES Alliance in Abu Dhabi, but MIBA could not arrange the reinsurance in DRC.

At this moment, this entire process would certainly approach 1 billion USD due to inflation. We would need to redo the entire budget and justification. We have no idea about MIBA’s current technical and financial status.

However, we know that a new management and board of directors have taken office.