Regional Summit on Mining Starts May 20

Alfred Baku


Mining economies of West and Central Africa gather in Accra, Ghana, from May 20 to 21 to showcase resilience and strength of the industry

THE regional summit of the mining economies of West Africa and Central Africa billed to take place May 20 and 21, in Accra, Ghana, will feature industry stakeholders from more than 30 countries. The countries that will participate in the summit, include Congo, Senegal, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia and Cameroon. The 7th WaCA Mining 2015 in 2015 will be held at the Accra International Conference Centre.

The summit is the largest mining event in the region, the 7th West and Central Africa (WaCA) Mining Summit and Expo returns to Accra, providing the industry with the timely platform to showcase resilience, strength and unity after a turbulent year especially pockmarked by Ebola, falling mineral prices and declining global demand.

Magenta Global will once again host this cornerstone industry event, supported by important industry stakeholders including the ministry of lands and natural resources Ghana and the Ghana Minerals Commission.

The event is expected to draw a huge turnout.  Key highlights include presentations from industry leaders such as Johan Ferreira, head of Africa and regional SVP for Newmont Mining Corporation, and Alfred Baku, executive vice president and head of West Africa for Gold Fields.

Also known as WaCA Mining, the regional summit will feature industry stakeholders from more than 30 countries, including Congo, Senegal, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia and Cameroon. High level government officials from Benin, Senegal, Congo and Mauritania will also take advantage of this event to showcase their countries’ mining potential though official high level presentations.

According to Maggie Tan, Magenta Global CEO, despite West and Central Africa boasting some of the world’s largest high-grade bauxite and iron-ore reserves, these are mostly untapped, owing to political risks, infrastructure deficiencies, inadequate transport networks and fiscal and regulatory bottlenecks.  “These are some of the issues into which the Summit will delve,” she notes, adding that the Summit is a good platform to take the industry forward, as industry leaders, government officials and many other mining stakeholders will be in attendance.

Tan adds: “The mining industry is facing one of the most challenging business environments with declining commodity prices, rising costs and increased complexity in mining operations.  Achieving operational sustainable performance will be key to the continued survival of mining operations.”

Alfred Baku of Gold Fields adds “Resilience is what every mining operation needs, especially considering the current operating environment. I look forward to sharing our resilient turnaround strategy that enabled us to turn our Damang Mine, which was at the brink of closure, to a profit making mining operation”.

Participants at the Summit can participate in roundtable discussions on critical sub-themes including: the Policy and  Regulators Roundtable, on overcoming infrastructural bottlenecks and policy transparency, to be moderated by Sulemanu Kone, CEO of the Chamber of Mines of Ghana;  the Mining Industry Leaders Roundtable on achieving resilience in mining operations with a focus on cost management, talent management and community engagement, to be moderated by Daniel Owiredu, chief operating officer, of Golden Star Resources; and the Mining Investors Roundtable on assessing credible and alternative financing options for mining projects in the region.

There will also be 22 presentations that cover policy, strategic, commercial and operational issues. The first day of the Summit will be chaired by Benjamin Aryee, Ghana Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources Adviser while the second day will be chaired by Daniel Owiredu, Golden Star Resources, chief operating officer.

Ibrahima Lamine Wane, former Mauritania minister of energy and Petroleum and currently managing director of Wafa Mining and Petroleum Mauritania, said: “I certainly support the positive sentiment of the main theme in this Summit, which is displaying resilience in light of recent challenging times, therefore I am proud to share with the delegates my experience and some insights regarding the mining sector in Mauritania.”

Alioune Sarr, director of Projects and Facilities, ministry of energy and mines, Senegal, adds: “I am excited to come to Accra to showcase the rise of Senegal as a mining powerhouse.  We have outlined six key projects with mining potential and will share best practices on how to have successful mining operations in Senegal to everyone.”

Exhibitors from Belgium, Canada, Poland, Czech Republic, South Africa, India, Germany, Nigeria, Liberia, Canada, France, UK, Australia, Russia, Ghana etc, will be showcasing solutions, technology, products and services covering all crucial aspects of mining operations and productivity.  Visitors to WaCA Mining Expo 2015 will get to meet and do business with these companies who are all bullish about West & Central Africa and ready to invest in the region.  The Expo will also see the strong representation of South African companies under the umbrella of Trade Investment KwaZulu Natel (TIKZN), this being its second year exhibiting at this mining show.

Other foreign companies taking a close look at the opportunities in West & Central Africa include Beak Consultants of Germany, Nitroerg of Poland, Austin Powder International from Czech Republic, and Defawes Gears from Belgium.

Visitors to the Expo will experience the wide range of technology and services on display as well as the opportunity to learn more from a host of free seminars that have been scheduled, including a free workshop by environmental project management company Veolia for mine engineers under the theme Optimising Operations for Environmental Sustainability.

Sponsors at the 7th WaCA Mining Summit & Expo include 888 Investment Group, Veolia, Newco Ghana & Gold Fields.

— May 25, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT