SMB SARL started operating Bibatama mine back in 2001. The city of Rubaya was nonexistent. Due to a surge in coltan prices in 200-2001 many employees of SMB SARL were able to benefits from the mine and the area has grown exponentially. A 15 Km road with the help of the local population has brought a network capability that enhanced agriculture due to an influx of transportation means to the area.
Several people have been able to sell their products to the market in the town of Goma. Prices of beans, corn, potatoes, wheat have gone up due to the accessibilities of those communities. This is a win win situation where the company and the surrounding communities were able to benefit.
In August 2012, SMB SARL held a meeting with the local community to evaluate the progress and have a discussion centered on social responsibility of the company. Participants were very candid about what they want and what they think could bring them prosperity. While recognizing the benefit of the road constructed several years ago, they stressed the need of a high school and clinic for communities around the SMB SARL carre. A fund needs to be set aside to meet those needs. In its board of directors meetings, in September, SMB SARL Board vowed to establish a community Fund that would generate enough funds to build a medical clinic at the compound of SMB SARL property and a high school in Mwumba. SMB SARL has been talking to other stakeholders such as, USAID, UNDP, and IOM to work together in concerted efforts in helping these communities.
A hydroelectric power station is planned to generate electricity for the mine and the surrounding communities. A feasibility study has been completed and SMB SARL is raising funds for that project.
All of these activities however, cannot be accomplished while traceable minerals from MH International concession are not sold at the international market. However, with the audited report out in February that shows a chain of custody as one of the best in the region, it is a matter of time before a tagging company will be able to come in and affirm the traceability of the minerals mined at Bibatama.
SMB SARL has a concession that span over 35 carree. Most of its Coltan and Casserites are alluvial. So far no needs of explosive as the access to the high grade of minerals can be obtained at the open pit mine.