No mining sector without geology

ABERRA MOGESSIE The professor says geological, geochemical and geophysical investigations form the foundation for successful exploration activities

ABERRA MOGESSIE The professor says geological, geochemical and geophysical investigations form the foundation for successful exploration activities

19th August 2016


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Mining development is one of the main areas where geoscience directly contributes to a country’s economy, with Africa expected to supply a significant portion of the world’s future mineral resources through the application of various scientific approaches, states the Local Organising Committee of the thirty-fifth International Geological Congress (IGC).

Therefore, the theme ‘Resourcing Future Generations,’ will feature prominently at the IGC, which will run from August 27 to September 4 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

“There is no mining without geology,” states Geological Society of Africa president Professor Aberra Mogessie, who is convening a special IGC symposium focused on country-based implementation of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV). “Geological, geochemical and geophysical investigations form part of the foundation for successful exploration of mineral occurrences,” he affirms.

IGC copresident Professor Richard Viljoen agrees, adding that effective mining, particularly of lower-grade or erratic orebodies, is based entirely on high-quality geoscientific input. “Without accurate and reliable geoscientific input, most mining ventures are likely to fail.”

The AMV was established by the African Union (AU) heads of State and government in 2009 in an attempt to better manage the continent’s mineral resources. “Africa holds an abundant amount of mineral resources but, so far, it has not been able to reap the full potential benefits on offer,” says Viljoen. The AMV aims to effectively use Africa’s mineral resources through transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of all mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socioeconomic development on the continent.

The AMV’s main objectives include building the capacity of regional and national minerals-related institutions; investing in improved physical, social and human capital; developing technology and products in the mining sector; and strengthening environmental and social management.

The African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) was founded by the AU Commission to provide strategic support for the AMV and is responsible for tying together the various earth science initiatives and projects across the continent. “As part of its efforts, the AMDC is cur- rently developing the Geological Mineral and Information System Strategy (GMISS) to provide the necessary guidance and support for AU members to improve their geological and mineral information systems,” says Mogessie, noting that this initiative will encourage investment across the whole mineral value chain.

He emphasises that the GMISS views geological and geospatial information as crucial for several important economic, social, legal and environmental applications in mining and broad development processes in Africa.

The themes of this year’s IGC will shed some light on the purpose and roles of the AMV, the AMDC and the GMISS, explains Viljoen. “We are providing an opportunity for key players within the African mining industry to gain invaluable knowledge at the IGC,” he says, adding that this is one of the many reasons the event should not be missed.

Edited by Tracy Hancock
Creamer Media Contributing Editor




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