Aerial photo of Mwamba’s JV Mine with Iponyabuhabi Mining Society in Masabi, Tanzania.
Mwamba pilots the model in partnership with Iponyabuhabi Mining Society and senior geologist Chars Mnguto in Matebe, Tanzania.
Mwamba partners with established miners and processors, vertically integrating them in its responsible gold supply chain.
- Purchase ore from miners
- Rent processing capacity from processors
- sell gold in formalized markets
Mwamba invests in the safety and efficiency of its partner operations, providing 3rd party verification, documentation diligence and distribution.
When first developing Mwamba’s model, we conducted a survey showing that the majority of small-scale gold processors and miners wanted to collaborate with one another but lacked the means to do so. We designed Mwamba’s model to broker efficient collaboration between the two by purchasing ore from miners and renting processing capacity in nearby centers ad hoc.
We first tested the feasibility of the model by piloting the workflow in Masabi, Tanzania, using one small-scale mine and one processing center. To execute the pilot we partnered with senior Tanzanian geologist Charles Mnguto (shown right) and prominent Tanzanian Mining Society Iponyabuhabi Mining Co-operative Society Limited (IMCSL).
Mwamba supplied IMSCL with equipment to develop the small-scale mine, overseeing the daily operations. Ore produced was transported 3km to a 100 ton per day processing facility owned by Charles. The exercise allowed Mwamba to define its equipment offerings for partner mining operations and learn first-hand the economics of ore transportation and processing.
Charles had originally commissioned the 100 ton per day processing facility used in the Masabi pilot as a compliment to a small-scale mine development in the area. The mine had since closed leaving the processing facility idle. This processing center is one example of many in Tanzania that often sit empty despite the overwhelming processing demand of ASGMs in their communities.
The pilot supported the economic viability of Mwamba’s ore-marketplace, helping us define parameters on economic transactions and establish protocols that conform to the needs of miners and processors.
Building the Tools
Having confirmed the model’s feasibility, we turned our focus to its scalability. How would we grow a network of miners and processors while maintaining the integrity of the workflow we had now defined? Referencing the success of digital platforms like Uber and AirBnB in creating highly scalable peer-to-peer economies, we set out to build “WAZI,” a digital platform of our own. WAZI would automate Mwamba’s business activities and enable the sustainable growth of its partner ecosystem, supporting operating efficiency and supply chain transparency throughout.