Alexander MBIAM: “The economic boom could go through the exploitation and transformation of the country’s natural resources.”

Graduated with a Masters in Finance from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and former finance consultant in the New York office of Deloitte, Alexandre Mbiam made a 360 degree turn in 2013. He decided to enter the field of mines and launched Xplor-Tech, structure in which he applies his expertise in finance and passion for the mining sector. President in the finance committee of the federation of mining in Cameroon – which has about thirty members – Mr. Mbiam is also a man of action who intends to contribute to the development of Cameroon’s mining industry.

Inspire Afrika Mag: How does one get in the mining sector when they studied finance?

Alexandre Mbiam: When I was doing my masters at MIT I had the opportunity to attend conferences that spoke of major interest industries in Africa. During one of them, the potential of the mining industry in Africa was highlighted. Following this conference, I did some research on the state of this sector in Cameroon in particular. I found out that 60% of Cameroonian territory was unexplored and more importantly, that the mining sector was one of the sectors that the government wanted to promote. I then inquired about the possibility of acquiring exploration permits for metals, which could be developed in a country that has a very young mining culture. It should be noted that Cameroon had its first mining code in 2001; it was reformed in 2010, and is still being reformed.

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I.A.M: It was then after this research that Xplor-Tech was born…

A.M: Exactly! Xplor-Tech is a company specializing in the exploration of gold and diamond, although our activity is primarily focused on gold. We cover a 200,000 hectares operating area in the Eastern Province of Cameroon, between Bertoua and Bétaré-Oya[1]. The exploration activities that we’ve been carrying for 3 years now has enabled us to provide areas that can be exploited in semi-mechanized way. We have established partnerships with companies coming from diverse backgrounds. Those companies perform the exploration of historical riverbeds. The data they obtain allow us to better define the areas where we will make more advanced explorations, including through geochemical or geophysical methods, in order to highlight areas of interest that could constitute the primary source of gold. In other words, it comes to finding gold veins. Such areas ultimately will enable the development of real industrial operating mines. Presently, Cameroon does not have this type of mining. Therefore, the role of industry players – government and / or private companies – is to enable the advent of several industrial mines. This is what countries like Ivory Coast have done, whose mining code is one of the best in Africa.

Read the complete interview on page 13 of the 18th issue below

[1] Historically the gold city in Cameroon


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