The Investing in African Mining Indaba 2012 is the perfect platform to hold industry-related discussions, while addressing pressing issues that limit the true potential of the global mining sector, says resources and infrastructure engineering firm TWP.
A conference of this nature has the necessary dynamics to establish solu- tions that address the current obstacles facing the mining sector, states TWP CEO Digby Glover.
“The Indaba is a good forum for identifying solutions that will place mining in South Africa, as well as in Africa, at the forefront of the mining industry,” he adds.
However, Glover notes that, although South Africa’s infrastructure is more advanced than that of other African countries, it is in need of attention and TWP will seek to use the Mining Indaba to implement solutions for the infrastructural constraint.
“A new focus at TWP is infrastructure development, as the industries in which we operate are expressing a greater need for improved infrastructure,” he says.
Meanwhile, TWP says it finds the indaba to be a good forum to demonstrate its complete portfolio of capabilities.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to renew relationships with large players and establish relationships with new players in the industry,” says Glover.
This year’s indaba marks TWP’s seventh year in attendance, with its exhibition stand manned by key members of the company’s engineering and mining departments.
Glover highlights that, although the company has major operations in South Africa, it is becoming increasingly diffi- cult to focus only on the region. TWP has developed a drive to expand further into other African regions as a part of a market diversification strategy.
“South Africa’s production in the mining sector has decreased over the years, because of increasing difficulty of access to reserves, while the cost of doing business in South Africa is also increasing.”
“Tax regimes, aging infrastructure and other political issues make it relatively expensive to mine in South Africa, but we believe the indaba and other forums can assist in addressing these concerns,” notes Glover.
Further, he says the risk and cost of new mining projects will impact on investment decisions.
Notwithstanding, the continent as a whole is experiencing stringent tax and mining law changes that need to be addressed, with recent events in Zimbabwe and Ghana raising further concerns among mining firms.
Globally, Glover says, the industry will continue to experience growth as a result of the commodities demand, despite a slight dip currently being experienced.
“Chile, Peru and Australia are expe- riencing growth in their mining sectors, while the boom will continue in West Africa.”
Meanwhile, TWP says it is currently conducting a number of feasibility studies for many of the industry’s major mining companies, with its geographical reach including South America, Africa and Australia.
The company says it has completed a feasibility study for diamond giant De Beers’ Venetia mine, about 80 km outside Musina, in Limpopo.
The engineering procurement and construction management major says it is also in the negotiation phase of a shaft sinking project in Australia, which, if awarded, will add to TWP’s manage- ment of 15 global shaft projects.
The company has also invested significantly in wind energy in the Eastern Cape and believes the skills acquired from the project can be shared with other African countries, where these are most needed.