May 17, 2020

DRC Mining Week returns to focus on agri, energy and construction sectors

Dale Benton
3 min
DRC Mining Week returns to focus on agri, energy and construction sectors
This June, the award-winningDRC Mining Weekconference and exhibition is back in Lubumbashi. This year the conference not only retains its main focus on...

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:

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Jun 29, 2021

Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations

battery metals
2 min
Vale’s $150mn investment in operations at Thompson, Manitoba will extend mine life by 10 years

Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.

Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel

The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.

“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.

“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”

Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba

Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.

“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.

“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”

The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history.  Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.

“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.

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