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Published by: José Gregorio Freites on Sep 23, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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This report was researched and prepared by GlobalBusiness Reports (www.gbreports.com) for Engineering& Mining Journal.Editorial researched and written by Joana Cook, AngelaHarmantas and Jolanta Ksiezniak.For more details, please contact info@gbreports.com, orfollow us on Twitter: @GBReports.
JUNE 2012
Cover photo courtesy of Fugro Airborne Surveys.
Mnn n Soten Afca
One of the world’s last mining frontiers
A Rising Region............................................
Mozambique: Southern Africa’s “Boom Town”...
Zambia: Africa’s copper resource.....................
Zimbabwe: The risks vs. reward dilemma ..........
Botswana: A mining nation transforms.............
Namibia: Beneath the sands...........................
Conclusion: The next frontier...........................
JUNE 2012 www.e-mj.com
Blessed with abundant resources and well-positioned to become an international ener-
gy hub, southern Africa’s mining industry is
emerging from the shadows of the dominantregional mining player, South Africa. Whilesome countries have long mining histories,such as Botswana, others like Mozambiqueare scrambling to address the most Africanof challenges: a lack of sufficient infra-structure to export these commodities anda skilled labor shortage that threatens theevolution of mining throughout the region.As governments and the private sector worktogether to find an adequate solution, com-panies continue avid exploration in one of
the world’s last mining frontiers.South Africa’s recent inclusion into the
BRICS group of nations, thanks in part to
the country’s wealth of mineral resources,recognizes that the continent’s economic
powerhouse will play a significant role inglobal development. Taking into accountthe southern African nations of Botswana,Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe andZambia, the region as a whole offers manyopportunities for mining companies whocan stomach a little risk with their reward.Thanks to their proximity to South Africa,
one of the world’s premier mining destina
-tions, southern African countries are able todraw upon the world-class expertise easilyavailable. Botswana, recently rated the topmining destination in Africa according to theFraser Institute rankings, is best known fordiamonds but is quickly pursuing strategiesto diversify into other minerals, such as coal
and uranium. Namibia’s mining industry is
forecast to expand more than 50% in valueterms by 2015, and increases in productionof base metals and uranium will contribute
to further expansion. Mozambique’s mining
A rsn reon
Emerging from the shadows of a mining giant
sector is expected to experience phenom-enal growth thanks to increased investmentin coal production from international ma-
jors. Zambia’s copper belt will see five new
mines come online in the next five years,whereas neighboring Zimbabwe has yet toconvince investors, though even their wari-ness has started to wane.
Aside from simple geology, Africa’s de
-mographic and economic growth is also anincentive. According to Roger Dixon, chair-man and corporate consultant of SRK Con-
sulting in South Africa, “this results in huge
opportunities for mineral development. Ifcompanies in the industry ignore these op-portunities, then they will miss out on oneof the engines of the world economy over
the next 10 years.”
Southern Africa is still considered an
“untapped resource,” according to Kyle
van der Berg, business solutions managerfor Micromine Africa, a mining software
company. “There are many minerals in the
ground that remain unexplored at present.This will change as mining becomes moreeffective, and we will see much more de-
velopment happening in the coming years,”
van der Berg said.
Knight Piésold Consulting South Africa’s
section manager mining, Peter Jenner, re-
mains slightly more wary however. “There
are many opportunities in the region; it issimply a matter of whether or not they willbe developed. It is not an easy market forquick returns, but still has much untapped
potential,” Jenner said.For years, southern Africa’s mining in
-dustry has been known internationally asthe shining diamond hub of the world, yet itis now coal that is creating the most excite-ment. Southern Africa is in a prime positionto supply China and India with their insa-
tiable demand for “the black diamond.” Ac
-cording to some estimates, Mozambique is
primed to become the world’s third-largest
coal exporter by 2015, though for this tooccur, significant investments into rail andport infrastructure are required. While twopredominant sources of investment and pro-curement of assets in Africa remain Canadaand Australia, John Burke, director of Is-suer Services Division at the JohannesburgStock Exchange touched on the investment
potential offered by the Asian giants. “Both
India and China are resource hungry and weforesee great interest continuing from these
countries,” Burke said.
Yet the lack of sufficient infrastructureis hampering long-term, large-scale miningdevelopment, and is a significant sourceof frustration for exploration companies inthe region. As mineral exploration starts toreach production stage, the challenge ofexporting the resources becomes ever moreapparent. Large multinationals, such asVale in Mozambique, have committed bil-
Skilled (Trained) operator checking the pressure on the gland water pumping system. Photo courtesy of Minopex.Kyle van der Berg, business solutions manager,Micromine

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