DRC Mining Week returns to focus on agri, energy and construction sectors
This June, the award-winning DRC Mining Week conference and exhibition is back in Lubumbashi. This year the conference not only retains its main focus on mining, it will broaden its scope to include a focus on related and complementary sectors such as agriculture, energy and construction.
Focus on agri to support diversification
“DRC Mining Week is well established as the leading mining expo in the region and we have been around for a long time because we work closely with all the stakeholders, from industry to government. The event will always support the mining sector with the latest technology and services displays, free training workshops and high-level strategic conference” says event director Elodie Delagneau.
She adds: “however, the DRC is not the only country that is looking to diversify in anticipation of the end to the commodity super-cycle and slowdown in global growth. The national and provincial governments are therefore looking to increase their efforts to bring suppliers and investors’ attention to the potential of local agricultural production – a strategy that proved effective in the past with mining. Furthermore, the mining industry is not unfamiliar with agriculture as mines are often tasked to deliver a sustainable agriculture project as part of the CSR objective. We are very excited to work together with our very successful sister show in Zambia, the Agritech Expo, to bring together in Lubumbashi the leading global and local suppliers of the latest equipment, seeds and fertilisers to support agri operations.”
Solutions to energy supply
The electricity deficit in the DRC is costing mining operators millions of dollars every year due to a lack of consistent and secure power supply and “in order to maintain viable operations, many of DRC’s leading mining companies are evaluating greater use of renewable energy plants. Some are looking for alternative sources of energy, such off-grid power and others are looking for partnerships with private operators (IPPs).
DRC Mining Week is very excited to bring the latest innovative solutions to the mining community with its new Power Technology Park this year”.
Focus on construction and manufacturing
Does the majority of the DRC’s economic growth come from the mining industry? Yes, but also no. “Ports terminal facilities, building maintenance, roads development, property development and engineering” Elodie states, “the DRC’s economic growth does not only come from mining, the development of infrastructure goes hand in hand the development of the country. That is why DRC Mining Week in June will also showcase construction and manufacturing solutions and the opportunity for mining houses to meet with the project developers in the industry.”
Industry recognition and support
Like its predecessors, DRC Mining Week has already secured the support of the industry through the diamond sponsorship of Engen and the platinum sponsorships of Sodexo, Standard Bank and Tenke Fungurume Mining, while Atlas Copco, Copperbelt Energy and Xingye are confirmed as gold sponsors.
Earlier this year, DRC Mining Week was recognised for its support of the Kinsevere Community School Project in Lubumbashi when it was named a finalist in the Social Responsibility category of the AAXO ROAR Organiser and Exhibitor Awards, which honour excellence in the exhibition and events industry on the continent.
DRC Mining Week is organised by Spintelligent, a leading Cape Town-based organiser of exhibitions and conferences across the continent in the infrastructure, real estate, energy, mining, agriculture and education sectors. Other well-known events by Spintelligent include African Utility Week, Agritech Expo Zambia, Kenya Mining Forum, Future Energy East Africa (formerly EAPIC), Future Energy Nigeria (formerly WAPIC), Future Energy Central Africa (formerly iPAD Cameroon), iPAD Nigeria Mining Forum and EduWeek. Spintelligent is part of the UK-based Clarion Events Group.
DRC Mining Week 2017 - 23-24 June 2017, Lubumashi, DRC. For more information visit: http://www.drcminingweek.com/
Gerald Group resolves iron ore dispute with Sierra Leone
Gerald Group, the US commodity trader, will pay Sierra Leone $20mn and cede a 10% stake in an iron ore project as part of the resolution to a nearly two-year dispute that led to the shutdown of production, the two sides revealed.
Gerald's wholly-owned subsidiary SL Mining filed for arbitration in August 2019 over a royalty payment dispute and suspended the Marampa mine the following month. Sierra Leone's government responded by cancelling its mining licence.
As part of the agreement signed on Friday, Sierra Leone will take a non-dilutable 10% stake in a new company that will replace SL Mining and resume operations at Marampa by June 1, Gerald said in a statement.
Gerald will make two $10mn payments this year and will have the immediate right to ship its current stockpile of about 707,000 tonnes of iron ore, it said.
Both sides will withdraw their legal claims before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the statement added.
Gerald’s chairman and CEO Craig Dean commented: "I am delighted that we have been able to resolve our differences and have a fresh start and new beginning with the government of Sierra Leone."
Sierra Leone's Mines Minister Timothy Kabba told a news conference on Tuesday that the agreement was a milestone for the country.
"Whatever the pain we may have borne or dreaded throughout these two years ... this outcome justifies our action," he said.
Gerald estimates that Marampa holds about 1 billion tonnes of iron ore with a potential lifespan of 30 years.
Back in 2019, Dean spoke with Mining about the development of Marampa and commented: "SL Mining offers a substantial opportunity for Gerald Group as our Marampa mine in Sierra Leone is set to deliver six million tonnes of high-grade iron ore during its operational life. If you analyse the iron ore market it has transformed, even from a couple of years ago when prices were very low. Now prices have stabilised we’re in a favourable position with our first shipments leaving for China.
"Our goal is to make ‘Marampa Blue’ an internationally recognised premium grade iron ore brand. We intend to expand the delivery of high-grade 65% iron ore concentrate to markets in Europe and Africa.”