SMIG was established in 2017 with the purpose of designing and implementing innovative approaches to the funding and development of mining projects in Africa.

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    Finance concept for value sharing

  • ⋅Structured finance of specific asset allows for equity efficient investment

    ⋅Backen by pool of large international institutions

    ⋅Share appreciated project value (share option pool)

    ⋅Define blueprint for future projects (also outside mining)

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    A truly African company

  • ⋅Core management team from Africa

    ⋅Maximize local content

    ⋅Skill training programs across functions

    ⋅Pipeline of local businesses and subcontractros

    ⋅Foreign to national subcontractor pairing (knowledge transfer)

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    Immediate & lasting value to communities

  • ⋅Build strong „Win-Win“ – partnerships with the community

    ⋅Modern technology for dust mitigation and water efficiency

    ⋅Sustainable energy concepts to electrify rural, off-grid areas

    ⋅Targeted investment in education

Who We Are


The SMIG Team is uniquely qualified to fund and develop mining and infrastructure assets in West Africa

Our Management and Deal Team combine a total of

50+ Years of investment experience in the sector and region

The SMIG Team has executed large mining and infrastructure investments globally and has a long-standing experience in minerals trading, as well as in trade finance

80+ Years of experience in the mining sector and in the region

The SMIG Team has extensive executive management experience in the mining sector with some of the largest mining companies in the world

40+ Years of international Business Development expertise in the sector

The SMIG Team has developed multiple businesses to international scale and has arranged several large, international off-take agreements

Kadiatou Konate Co-Founder & Managing Director
Kadiatou Konate served as Director Planning, Strategy & Business Analysis at one of the largest mining companies in the world. She was also CFO of USD 20bn mining project in Guinea. Furthermore, Kadiatou is founder & Executive Director of an NGO focused on project development in Guinea. Kadiatou studied at Harvard Business School, Duke University and University of Oklahoma. She holds a M.Sc. in Accounting & Finance and a CPA
Dirk Kohlen Co-Founder & Managing Director
Dirk Kohlen served as Managing Partner of a leading European technology investor where he managed five investment funds. Prior to that, he worked as an Associate Partner in a global Strategy Consulting firm where he focused on consulting of global industrials including the aluminum and process industry. Dirk also held a previous role as Director of Sales & Business Development with a global industrial company in Germany. Dirk studied at Harvard Business School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Technical University of Aachen and Rotterdam School of Management. He holds a Dipl. Ing/M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and a MBA

Our Team

Our team includes top leaders in their industries with successful track records and direct Africa experience in key disciplines required for the effective and successful development and delivery of capital projects on the continent.

Graham Davidson

Graham Davidson, a key advisor to the team, is a leader in global mining and former Sr. Executive with the world’s largest mining companies, including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. Graham has a deep understanding of global corporate strategy and has successfully led large multicultural teams on complex natural resource projects on three continents, including Africa. Graham has held previous roles as CEO of Port Waratah Coal Services and Managing Director of Rio Tinto’s Simandou project in Guinea.

Dan Belinski

Dan Belinski is a Sr. Executive with 40 years of experience working for major global engineering and construction firms. Dan’s expertise and leadership spans across grassroots construction, retrofit and engineering projects. As a VP for FLUOR (EPCM), he has led the startup and completion of complex multi-billion dollars projects in mining, industrial maintenance and production support in Africa and North America.

Amara Camara

Amara Camara is entrepreneur and successful business leader with extensive strategic and operational experience. He is the Founder and owner of a renewable energy company which successfully developed and executed multi-million dollars renewable energy projects in West Africa. Also, through his US based holdings, Amara has successfully developed and closed multi-million dollars real estate deals in the Washington DC metro area. Amara has deep and broad connections into the local business community and superior political and personal connections with regulatory authorities in Guinea and across West Africa.

Joe Chen

Joe Chen is an experienced Investment banker and business development manager with 10+ year experience with large international institutions, including Private Equity. Joe has previously worked on structuring and financing multiples mining deals in Africa including a large mining asset in Sierra Leone. Joe ‘s prior experience also includes successfully structuring and financing international off-take arrangements.

S. Gabriel Shumba

Gabriel (Gabe) Shumba is Managing Partner at Group Shumba, LLC and an award nominated author. Gabe is a thought leader and an economic solution strategist for Africa. Gabe has over 18 years’ experience in banking, structured finance, private equity, and business venture development in Africa. He has led multi-location business operations and advisory projects for Fortune 500 corporations. Gabe has a successful track record structuring and closing international transactions in the Energy Technology and Mining sectors.

Ibrahima Barry

Ibrahima Barry has over 25 years of experience managing community relations and solving challenges related to the social license to operate. In his previous role at the United Nations’  International Labor Burau (BIT), he oversaw the design and implementation of a “Social Dialogue” program (PRODIAF) across Francophone countries of Africa. The program provided training and knowledge transfer skills to various groups within communities to maintain social peace, prevent and manage conflicts and promote the participation of social partners in the formulation and implementation of socio-economic policies.

Jacques Jonathan Nyemb

Jacques Jonathan Nyemb is a lawyer and policy advisor. He was formerly an Attorney-at-law at a leading international US law firm, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, advising on project finance with a focus on infrastructure, energy, oil and gas and mining sectors.

SMIG’s team is also reinforced by a broad range of executives and experts in the fields of mining, infrastructure and business development as well as in investment. Key members’ background include:

Former Sr. Executives for some of the world’s largest mining companies serving as mentors and advisors. These executives have a combined experience of 50+ years in mining and have previously served as Chief Executive Officers and Chief Commercial Officers of complex, large scale mining projects world-wide, including in developing countries.

Commercial experts with deep experience and connections within the global Aluminum industry. Team members have a proven track record negotiating and closing large scale off-take agreements of various commodities and providing advisory services to commodity traders and private equity firms.

Experienced geologists with over 20+ years in mining working on a variety of commodities and countries in exploration and project evaluation. The team as a proven track record leading projects study teams from analysis of regional airborne magnetic data, integration with ground geophysical survey results, regional and detail geochemistry, to drilling and compilation of analytical results.

Experts in Financial Services with 20+ years investment and structured finance experience. Our professional team ‘s track record includes closing 20+ investments in infrastructure and mining in Europe, South America, the Far East and Africa

SMIG combines a unique set of experience and expertise that ensures effective project delivery

Our expertise and track record covers Investment Management & Structured Finance, Development of Mining & Infrastructure Projects and International Business Development & Off-takes

Team with proven track record in private equity investment, global and local mining and international business development.                                                                                         

Backers with USD >10bn in assets under management and with investment experience in Infrastructure and mining in Africa.   ­  

Deep expertise and connections within the global aluminum industry,  the Chinese and European off take market and global independent trading houses.

Expertise in project development coupled with the deep connections within the local economy and local authorities required to ensure effective project delivery.