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China gold expo draws massive interest
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20th July 2001
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The People's Republic of China held its first international gold exhibition last month, which has been hailed as the most important event before the country's gold market is opened.

Sixty international companies participated in the four-day event, which was attended by about 5 000 visitors.

The largest foreign exhibitor group was a South African delegation, consisting of Mintek, Rand Refinery, SA Mint, Hazleton Pumps, Reeves Wireline Services, Mine Support Products, Digital Mining Services and Gold Yard International.

South Africa's involvement in the project was facilitated by the Gauteng Economic Development Agency, the province's official economic, investment and trade promotion agency, which is funded largely by the Gauteng provincial government.

Other organisations involved in the exhibition included national governing bodies such as the China National Gold corporation and China Gold Society, as well as other significant Chinese gold-exploration, mining, refining, equipment, machinery and jewellery-manu- facturing companies.

The exhibition is believed to have reaped favourable results for some of the South African companies that participated.

For example, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Mintek and Changchun Gold Research Institute. Mintek marketing manager Philip Smith says that the State-owned research institute was well received at the exhibition.

"It was a worthwhile experience, and we walked away with very good prospects of pursuing partnerships at a later stage," he discloses.

The Changchun Gold Research Institute obtained information about Mintek before the exhibition through a leaflet distributed by the organisers of South Africa's involvement in the exhibition, Gold Yard International Exchange Service.

The leaflet contained a summary of South African technology, products and services that were to be exhibited. Another memorandum of understanding was signed between Digital Mining Services and Jinqiao Software Technology Company.

Rand Refinery also signed a business co-operation agreement with an undisclosed Chinese gold company.

"We are happy with the results we obtained from the exhibition," states Rand Refinery manager of gold production Chris Horsley.

However, he is unable to reveal more information on the co-operation agreement at present.

SA Mint and Laofengxiang, the largest gold-jewellery dealer in China, expressed their willingneess to co-operate in the future.

SA Mint GM of the numismatic division Tom Davell confirms that the organisation made many business contacts with organisations it could pursue possible partnerships with when China's gold market is opened.

In addition, he says the company learnt much about the way in which business is undertaken in the country.

Interest was also shown in the products and technology exhibited by Mine Support Products, Reeves Wireline Services and Hazleton Pumps.

Reeves senior engineer John Jeffrey says that, although the company is active in many countries, this is the first time it has made contact with China.

He says the company received a favourable response from the Chinese gold-mining industry and from some of those in the coal industry who also visited the exhibition, and that there is a possibility of becoming involved with a Chinese mining company in the future.

"The exhibition was a first step to understanding the mining and exploration industry in China, and what we can offer in the way of a service," says Jeffrey.

This is borne out by Hazleton Pumps director Mathys Wehmeyer, who says that his company's product range received a positive reponse from visitors at the exhibition.

Owing to the long closure of the Chinese gold industry, the industry has relatively few direct contacts with international companies in the mining and refining downstream industries and many international companies are also reluctant to approach the opening gold market in China.
Edited by: User not found.


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