Another encouraging year for mining in West Africa

Investors and miners are increasingly comfortable mining gold in West Africa beyond the traditional mining regions.

IMAGE: Roxgold

West Africa has been at the heart of the African transformation. Over the past decade, this region has achieved remarkable economic growth, outperforming other regions in the continent and emerging as a darling for investors worldwide. Although growth has gradually slowed, West Africa houses some of the continent’s stellar economic performers, namely Ivory Coast, Senegal and Burkina Faso, while being home to Africa’s largest economy and most populous country, Nigeria. Sound macroeconomic policies, ameliorating political conditions and major infrastructure developments have contributed to noteworthy investments in the mining sector of West Africa. From Ghana’s world-renowned gold deposits to Burkina Faso’s unexplored wealth, West Africa will certainly host some of the most attractive projects for the industry across the continent.

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Isabeau Vilandre, Director of the SUMM Project, CIRDI

MACIG Connect Series

The Canadian International Resource and Development Institute (CIRDI) explains how it is working with the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines to develop the country’s mining sector.

CIRDI is an organization created with the support of the federal government of Canada that has projects in Latin America, Asia and in Africa. What is the organization’s mandate and how does the SUMM project help to achieve that objective?

CIRDI is an expression of Canada’s evolving role in developing countries through the sharing of Canadian expertise and experience to governments that request support for global and systematic reforms of their natural resource sector to result in sustainable natural resource management. CIRDI’s mission is to exchange knowledge and expertise with developing countries that enables leading-practice natural resource governance, environmental stewardship, gender equality and ultimately, poverty reduction.

Our projects are designed and delivered collaboratively to meet the needs of our developing country partners in alignment with the following three focus areas: Continue reading

Simon Njovu, President, Small Scale Miners Association of Zambia

MACIG Connect Series

The President of Zambia’s Small Scale Miners Association explains the efforts to help more Zambians benefit from the mining industry.

Can you explain SSMAZ’s role in the Zambian mining sector and highlight its priorities for the sector?

Education, training, demonstration and monitoring are the key elements of any program for artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in Zambia and improving occupational safety and health in ASM. Fair-trade initiatives for giving small-scale producers in developing countries the opportunity to trade their products under better selling terms and conditions should be developed wherever possible. Encouragement and support for the formation of cooperatives, associations or enterprises to support communication, cooperation and coordination between miners should also be provided as opportunities for networking between miners to share information and coordinate activities are often productive.

From the small-scale miner’s perspective, what is the greatest challenge facing the Zambian mining sector? Continue reading

Thomas McCormack, Country Representativ, MEDA

MACIG Connect Series

MEDA is a Canadian not for profit organization that has taken up the task of developing Ethiopia’s gemstone industry.

MEDA is a not for profit organization that is based in Canada, with Mennonite roots that works on business solutions to poverty through a number of different strategies. What is your current activity in Ethiopia?

We made a proposal to the Canadian government, that has funded us for a six year activity, to take a look at three different value chains and what we can do to support business growth and employment opportunities in vegetables, rice, and gemstones. We take a look at the entire value chain with an eye towards figuring out which dynamics are missing and what is not working and why is it not working. We look to see if there are meaningful things we can improve so businesses can work better, especially micro, small and medium size enterprises.

How did MEDA come to identify gemstones as an important value chain to support in Ethiopia? Continue reading

James Campbell, MD, Botswana Diamonds

PBotswana Diamonds speaks to GBR about diamond exploration in Southern Africa.

Botswana Diamonds was born from exploration assets acquired from African Diamonds. What is the company’s current focus for 2017?

The focus for Botswana Diamonds is spread across both Botswana and our flagship project in South Africa. Through our joint venture with Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond mining company, we are focusing on the Orapa and Central Kalahari areas on both early stage exploration for a new diamond deposit and the reassessment of older diamond deposits. We also have some fascinating ground in the Central Kalahari where we are partnered with BCL. BCL is currently in liquidation, and we are negotiating to try to bring this particular project out of its dormancy. In South Africa we our focusing on our flagship Frischgewaagt project. The history of this project actually begins in the late 1980s as a legacy from when De Beers discovered the Klipspringer, Marsfontein and Oaks diamond mines in the region. We consider this to be the flagship project of Botswana Diamonds for two primary reasons. First, Continue reading

Stewart J. Scott, Director, Panorama Security

Panorama Security explains the risks particular to mines in Zambia.

Panorama Security has been in existence for 19 years and currently employs in excess of 3,000 people. Can you highlight the company’s role and key services in the Zambian mining sector?

About half our business sits in the extractives sector. Our service lines include static and mobile guarding solutions, canine solutions, and armed security solutions, although this service is only supplied in very specific applications. We supply electronic security solutions that include CCTV, access control perimeter management systems and we supply Alarm Systems for various applications. Panorama supplies secure escort services predominantly providing secure logistics for the extractives sector when moving their product across Zambia and the region.  Panorama believes that security is driven by threat and risk and therefore provides customer access to threat and risk audit services and target hardening evaluations as routine.

What are the most significant security risks facing the Zambian mining sector today? Continue reading

A Taste of Southern Africa’s Mining Environment

GBR explores the Southern African region where mineral riches tempt and political risk deters.

By Lindsay Davis

IMAGE: Vermeer

Long considered a regional and global mining powerhouse, South Africa has been engulfed by a series of political shocks and economic underperformance that have taken a significant toll on its position as Southern Africa’s leader in the extractives industry. Amid a backdrop of recession and accusations of corruption, in August ,President Jacob Zuma narrowly survived the eighth no-confidence motion held against him in parliament, underlining a country swirling with political dissent. Backed by President Zuma as part of his economic agenda to introduce stricter Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) rules, the new Mining Charter III now requires local mines be 30% black-owned at all times. South Africa’s Chamber of Mines, which represents over 90% of the country’s mining companies, has taken the government to court over the matter, and will argue that the charter constitutes an infringement on company law, international agreements and the constitution. Continue reading