Mark Wainwright, MD Natural Resources and Daimon Keith, Director, Kenya Country Manager, Turner & Townsend

Turner & Townsend’s Kenya office explains the issues related to investing in Kenya’s young mining sector.

Turner & Townsend is a global company covering several key sectors. Could you give an overview of your African operations?

Mark Wainwright (MW): Turner & Townsend is a global capital programs professional services company that has been serving the industry for more than 70 years, representing the commercial interests of owners and operators, across the spectrum from junior to major companies, as well as funders. We have over 4,000 staff and an annual global turnover of more than half a billion USD. Our services cover the entire capital project life cycle, from the pre-feasibility stage onwards and includes advising on supply chain strategy, estimating an asset’s cost and schedule, managing contractual arrangements with the supply chain, execution and commissioning the asset.

Daimon Keith (DK): Africa is one of our eight global focus regions; we have been here for 34 years, first entering Africa on the back of our global mining clients. Now have almost 300 staff. We see East Africa, and particularly Kenya, as a key country to drive growth in the region and the continent . Mirroring our global business portfolio, the Africa business’s focus is split across property infrastructure and natural resource (mining, oil and gas) sectors.

What are the main challenges facing your clients in Kenya’s mining sector? Continue reading

Lars Narfeldt , Director, RA International

RA International is seeking to bring its life support services to the African mining industry.

Please tell us about the history of RA International and its key competencies.

RA International was formed in 2003. At that time we began working in Afghanistan, where we provided support to the United Nations and the International military forces. Our key focus areas were in construction and power generation, shortly after we also moved on to include waste management and catering to our portfolio of services. We grew rapidly the first 12 months and by mid 2004, we had around 500 employees across Afghanistan. At that stage, we were also invited to enter South Sudan to set up a similar operation as we have in Afghanistan. From 2004 until 2010 we were predominantly active in Sudan and Afghanistan, but in 2010 we sold our assets in Afghanistan and decided to focus on Africa. By then we already had an established office in Kenya and had moved into Somalia. From then on, we continued to grow and we are now present in 14 countries in Africa.

What have been the main reasons behind your decision to expand into the mining industry in Africa? Continue reading

Lojomon Biwot, Non-Executive Director, Kilimapesa Gold and Chairman, Kenya Chamber of Mines

Kilimapesa has commissioned stage one of a new processing facility at its gold mine in Kenya.

Kilimapesa was the first gold mine to be commissioned after independence. What have been the key developments over the years?

Exploration began in 2007. The initial area of interest was originally licensed to a company called Sebimu and, as they were also looking for investors and partners, we reached an agreement in which we attained part of the license. We then acquired an exploration license and carried out a detailed drilling program, analyzed the results, and realized we had gold potential. The confirmed resource was close to 700,000 ounces. We then selected another area and acquired the license in 2011. We were very grateful to the government, as this was the first license to be issued for gold mining since Kenya’s independence.

We went into production immediately, upgrading the facility that was there. The gold price has been a major challenge and we had to reduce staff numbers over the years. For a period, the operations were put under care and maintenance. However, we are now out of that, and the gold prices are looking up. Our production is still relatively low, producing between five and ten kilograms of gold every month, but last year we decided to expand the company. This expansion is currently underway with the objective to crush around 3,000 tons of ore every month. This is a huge step up, and our long-term target is to crush around 6,000 tons per month. Some of the required equipment has been mobilized from Ghana. We hope that by December the new plant will be fully operational.

Goldplat also has operations in Ghana and South Africa. How does Kenya’s business environment compare, particularly with regard to investor support? Continue reading

Overcoming Adverse Conditions in Zimbabwe’s Mining Sector

Currency woes, droughts, power shortages and a lack of access to affordable funding are among the core challenges for the sector and industry at large.

By Catherine Howe

IMAGE: How Mine, courtesy of Metallon

Alongside agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, mining is a crucial sector within Zimbabwe’s economy. A country rich in a wide array of minerals including gold, diamonds, platinum, nickel, chrome and coal, many of Zimbabwe’s mineral reserves can be found along the Great Dyke, which runs from the north to the south of the country and spans a length of about 550km. Mineral resources found here primarily include platinum group metals (PGMs), gold, nickel, copper and chrome. Continue reading

Botswana: Diamonds Shine and Projects Loom

After a tough few years, Botswana seems set for fresh growth as new projects and infrastructure come on line.

By Eduardo Arcos

IMAGE: Vermeer

In 2016, the streets of Botswana were filled with blue, white and black flags, celebrating 50 years of the country’s independence. This southern African nation of just 2 million inhabitants has much to celebrate. Following its independence, the country was one of the poorest nations in the world, with virtually no developed infrastructure and economically dependent on a small beef industry. Since then, the country has undergone a dramatic transformation, becoming one of the most democratic and stable countries in the continent, as well as boasting one of the highest GDP per capita rates in Africa. In fact, from 1966 to 2014, Botswana’s GDP Continue reading

Steve Kisakye, CSR and Community Relations Practitioner/Advisor, Dalberg

Dalberg explains how the company helps guide the Tanzanian government to upgrade its social development and infrastructure.

Dalberg was founded in 2001. What are the key focus areas of the company in Tanzania?

Dalberg considers itself both a global and local company. Under the company’s partnership-based system, every country’s operation is semi-autonomous. In Tanzania we have had a presence for about five years, but we only set up our office this year, mainly operating in a number of development sectors including agriculture, education, finance and health.

I recently joined to lead the work of a new business entity (D. Implement), looking at moving from strategy into implementation. In the program that I lead, we are supporting the government to deliver in a more effective and efficient manner with a focus on the agricultural sector where there have been some significant investments, but without a major transformation in the sector. Our work involves supporting coordination of Ministries that are involved in the agriculture sector and further working closely with government counterparts at a regional level to enhance the delivery of programs. We are currently working in the Mwanza region, and will be expanding into two other regions in the next year.

Continue reading

Local Companies Gain Competitiveness within Tanzania’s Mining Service Sector

Alongside the well-reputed international players, several home-grown local companies are consistently proving themselves to be competitive, offering additional advantages such as greater expertise in business culture and environment.

By Catherine Howe

Many major international companies servicing the mining sector have a footprint in Tanzania; widely recognized brands either have subsidiaries in the country or, when it comes to equipment and machinery or other products, some have selected distributors. For example, Bell Equipment is dealt exclusively through Mining Agriculture and Construction Services (MACS), which also distributes Liebherr, Terex Finlay, Cummins Engines and Class. Continue reading