Berry Mwango, Director, C&B Engineering

MACIG Connect Series

C&B Engineering speaks to GBR of the challenges facing the processing industry in Zambia.

C&B Engineering began operations in 1991. What is your role in the mining sector and how have you seen the industry evolve?

C&B Engineering is a mechanical engineering company specializing in process engineering. Like many other local engineering firms, we have been active in the copper/cobalt processing stream by providing the miners with plants and equipment for leaching, concentrating, smelting and refining of the minerals. We have found ourselves supporting the mining companies through contractual works despite the stiff competition from foreign based companies that are preferred by the mine owners. The mining sector has witnessed several phases of transformation from public to private ownership with the privatization and eventually new players have joined in. There are now a lot more large scale mining companies mining copper.

How far has Zambia come in terms of extracting the full worth of its mineral resources through value adding initiatives? Continue reading

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Stanislas de Stabenrath, Managing Director and CEO, X&M Suppliers

MACIG Connect Series

X&M Suppliers explains to GBR how the company intends to rapidly expand its offering and its reach from Abidjan to the rest of West Africa.

Can you provide a brief overview of X&M’s focus for 2017 into 2018, and highlight any recent milestones achieved by the company?

X&M supplies equipment in the areas of exploration, drilling, health and safety, construction, topography and software in West Africa and beyond. We are continuing to develop our capacity in three main areas: local manufacturing, distribution, building consignment agreements and partnerships with companies trying to enter the West African market. X&M also develops services capacity for the many brands it distributes such as Draeger. For example, X&M just set up a certified calibration lab in Abidjan for gas detection devices. Up to now, customers were forced to send their gas detection device to Europe or South Africa to be calibrated. Our business will continue to focus on quality products and services of the type our customers in West Africa are seeking. X&M is on its way to becoming a one stop shop supplier, supplying clients from large stock holdings held locally in a bonded, customs cleared warehouse or sourced and delivered directly from the manufacturer. One aim in 2018-2019 is to open offices in Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana and Senegal to service the exploration, mining, oil and gas, and other industries in those countries and the region. This year we have established a presence in Hong Kong to source and develop procurement out of Asia.

What strategy does the company have in place to grow its business in the medium-to long-term? Continue reading

John Gladston, Government Affairs Manager, First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

MACIG Connect Series

First Quantum derives the majority of its revenues from its Sentinel mine in Zambia which it is bringing to nameplate capacity.

Can you highlight the significance of First Quantum’s projects in Zambia to the company’s global strategy?

Zambia clearly remains strategically important to First Quantum. As a group we have diversified into Central and South America, but in the medium-term, Zambia will remain an important partner for us; not only because the majority of the company’s revenue stems from Zambia but also because the heritage of the company is deeply seated in this jurisdiction. Our immediate focus in Zambia is on Sentinel mine and its ramp-up to its nameplate capacity. Eventually, this will see it producing between 280,000 and 300,000 tonnes of copper per annum (mt/y). We will also continue to advance the towns and multi-facility economic zones associated with our Zambian mines in order to promote diversification and the development of the communities in which we operate.

Are there any particular infrastructure projects that you see as pivotal in bringing the Zambian mining sector forward? Continue reading

Daniel Major, CEO – GoviEx Uranium

MACIG Connect Series

GoviEx Uranium describes its African strategy where it has acquired three advanced stage uranium projects.

GoviEx has three advanced stage uranium projects in Zambia, Niger, and Mali. How has the company turned the perceived risks of these projects into opportunities? 

From a project perspective, we have found that being in Africa actually helps. For example, because we are in a developing region, export credit agencies (ECAs) tend to be supportive, whereas they may be less likely to offer assistance in a developed country. GoviEx has been in discussion with a number of ECAs, predominantly on a procurement basis, because we have not yet defined our off-takers and we have found a few ECAs that are potentially interested in providing insurance coverage for the full amount of our debt. The underlying funding banks are then more comfortable with being involved. Particularly in relation to our Madaouela project, people tend to believe we will have difficulty funding our project because it is in Niger, but we now have a number of commercial banks working through our data room.

What is the company’s strategic advantage in offering this geographically diversified portfolio of projects? Continue reading

Mwaba Coster, General Manager of Hearmes Mining and Trading

MACIG Connect Series

Hearmes is involved in supporting the early stages of mines in Zambia and endeavors to foster local talent.

How has Hearmes Mining and Trading managed to weather the various commodity cycles, and what is your outlook for the future as the copper price begins to show signs of sustained recovery?

Our company has been in operation for over 19 years, working with companies from the beginning of their operations through to production to provide services ranging from engineering consultancy to suppliers of labor and equipment. During that time, we have used the periods of high investment in Zambia to grow our business and position ourselves to serve international and local businesses by essentially mechanizing the mines. When we were hit by the Global Financial Crisis and the mines had to scale back, contractors such as ourselves were also impacted. However, the mines are beginning to show signs of stability again and we are therefore also beginning to benefit from the opportunities that growth affords. 

How has Hearmes seen the changing attitudes towards safety management impact its service offerings? Continue reading

Hervé Boyer, Managing Director, Stanbic Bank Cote d’Ivoire

MACIG Connect Series

Stanbic Bank has a presence in 20 African countries and is now opening a branch in Cote d’Ivoire.

Stanbic Bank intends to open its first Cote d’Ivoire branch in July 2017. What is the company’s vision for this specific market?

In line with Standard Bank Group’s digital strategy, we are making a sizeable investment in our banking system infrastructure, and we hope to play a role in the digital transformation of the banking system in Cote d’Ivoire. Initially we will focus on corporate and investment banking, as well as existing clients who already operate in Cote d’Ivoire and the region. Looking ahead in our strategic delivery, we will explore obtaining more local clients and we may also eventually move into retail banking.

What have been the most significant obstacles in bringing the bank into full operation, and conversely, what strategic advantages does the company enjoy?  Continue reading

MACIG 2018 Pre-Release

Country: Africa Countries • Industry: Mining • Publication: Global Business Reports • Release Date: June 2017 • Authors: Eduardo Arcos, Lindsay Davis, Laura Brangwin

Executive Summary:

Rising commodity prices, particularly gold and copper, bring a more stable environment for producers and explorers globally. MACIG 2018 will recognise this year’s top ten destinations for mining investment and provide updates from new and existing projects as market sentiment improves. Exploration is on the return, with drill programs in the second half of the year hopefully bringing fruitful results in time for our September Pre-release, particularly in Francophone Africa.

In our 2017 African Mining Industry Survey, political stability and security were identified as the top factors to consider when entering a country in Africa. Potential changes in governance are never easy for decision-makers, and planned elections in top mining African destinations this year, including the DRC, Kenya and Angola, are bound to bring tension but also opportunities for the industry. We aim to analyse the balance between national interests and those of international investors by interviewing select stakeholders from across the board including government, producers, explorers, service and equipment providers, as well as executives from the finance community. In addition, we will invite all readers to participate in our 2018 African Mining Industry Survey and look forward to hearing your opinions.

The mining space in Africa is so dynamic, with risk factors and investment opportunities changing in each destination year on year that business intelligence remains a key tool for decision-makers to keep ahead of the game. Global Business Reports’ teams have returned to the continent this year to bring our readers the latest developments unique to each country and region in our MACIG 2018 publication launching next February as the annual official publication at the African Mining Indaba.

We will be looking into East Africa again, where the renewed appetite for exploration is being stifled to some extent by protectionism and legislative uncertainties as developing nations attempt to find a balance between attracting investment to their resources industries while ensuring maximum benefits for the indigenous economies. We also look into Ethiopia for the first time where we speak to the minister responsible for mining about his efforts to increase investments.

West Africa remains a pole of attraction, largely focused on gold, for explorers, which will ensure healthy growth for the industry providing infrastructural improvements can keep up. Ivory Coast is particularly attractive despite an episode of military unrest which failed to unsettle confidence in the country’s governance.

Governance remains a problem in some of the more mature mining jurisdictions that make up Southern Africa, particularly in South Africa, but here the industry is well established and has spent the last few years improving efficiencies so that mines are benefitting from improving commodity prices and seeing a more positive future.

Continue reading