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

Mosebenzi Zwane, South African Mineral Resources Minister

MACIG Connect Series

GBR speaks with South African Mineral Resources Minister, Mosebenzi Zwane at Africa Down Under about South Africa’s new mining charter and his relations with the Chamber of Mines.

In your presentation to delegates at African Down Under in Perth, you said investors have embraced the new mining charter. Can you elaborate on this?

We have met with both Russian and Chilean investors here in Perth. You probably heard in the morning when the presenter straight after me said we’ll come to South Africa, we’ll engage you, we want to work with you. Back home we have already signed about five section 11s and two of them (companies) have voluntarily said they want to comply with the charter. As we engage with them (mining companies) they are actually saying, five of them to be exact, that we are not lawmakers, you are lawmakers, we want to do business and we are happy there is certainty. So, we are moving forward, which is a positive aspect of the charter. We are engaging with the remaining members (of the Chamber of Mines) and with the Chamber of Mines itself. They need to come out and say what they don’t like. If they say they were not consulted and let’s assume that that is true, what is it that if they were consulted they would want to change? We need to deal with the issues and they need to stop running around saying they were not consulted. We have records that prove they were consulted. In fact, they are the most consulted in terms of our records. So, we are there and we are happy and we’re moving forward (sic).

Will you be meeting with Roger Baxter from the Chamber of Mines tomorrow or are you not allowed to have any conversations before the pending court case? Continue reading

Condé Amadou, President, Consortium Agro-Industrielle & Environnment Guinea (CAIE-G

MACIG Connect Series

CAIE-G rehabilitates land after mining so as to maintain a healthy and productive environment for local populations in Guinea.

Can you highlight the role that CAIE-G plays in the mining industry, and what environmental concerns the Consortium specifically believes it can assist in mitigating?

Our specialized companies are primarily involved in the environmental side of mining. We are speaking to companies like CBG because we know that in Kamsar, for example, there are vast lands being exploited and something needs to be done to rehabilitate those areas. In the Siguiri district, where AngloGold Ashanti operates, they have planted cashews, which are very high value and could serve as a source of revenue for the local communities. The lands or the concessions are mainly in village areas and if the mining companies could replant these kind of fruits it could be very useful to promote the growth of the communities and to better the environment.

What is your strategy for becoming more involved with the Guinean mining industry? Continue reading

Jackson Sikamo, Country Manager, Chibuluma Mines

Chibuluma Mines was hit hard by the downturn and explains to GBR how it survived to reverse its fortunes.

Production began at Chibuluma South in 2006, with production levels at around 10,000 mt/y of copper in concentrates. How has the mine evolved since then, and what is the company’s vision for itself going forward under the relatively new leadership of the Jinchuan Group?

Maximum annual production was achieved in 2013 at 18,100 mt/y of copper in concentrates, representing 2% of Zambia’s total copper production for that year. In subsequent years, the drop in the copper price coincided with the depletion of our resources, implying difficult mining conditions. We are a fully mechanized mine and therefore very capital intensive, and we did not have sufficient cash flows to rejuvenate our machinery. We experienced significant losses in 2015, and needed to restructure the business. We could have put the mine under care and maintenance, but Jinchuan, through Metorex, took a long-term view and decided to expand its footprint in Zambia. They made the strategic decision to keep the mine going because continuing operations at the Chibuluma mines gave Jinchuan the opportunity to look for resources elsewhere in the country.

How did Chibuluma turn around a loss of US$30 million in 2015 to ensure that it could continue life as a company during the downturn? Continue reading

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

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