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MINING: Explosive Growth in West African Mining at WAMPEX 2012


Recent Gauteng Business News

It’s been called the ‘West African gold rush’ and is seen as a ‘mining hotspot’, one of the world’s fastest growing regions for gold production. West Africa is also abundantly endowed with many other mineral resources and offers huge opportunities for global and local companies. The only impediment to its success is an unreliable power supply. To address this, West African regional governments have embarked on a major development programme to expand infrastructure and increase capacity. In doing this, the region’s infrastructure and power issues have in fact become an opportunity, much like its mining sector.

New West African Mines

Eight new mines have started production in the last three years, with another 13 mine projects planned for the region. Ghana alone has nine major mines and 600 smaller mining operations, all looking for international partners to scale up production.

“Local mining companies lack the capital and expertise for this level of operation, so we welcome companies with expertise in Africa’s resources sector to become involved in this development opportunity,” says Moses Asaga, Chairman of Ghana’s Parliamentary Selection Committee of Mines and Energy.

Playing a prominent role in facilitating these kinds of developments for the last 17 years, the biennial West African Mining and Power Exhibition (WAMPEX), and its associated conference WAMPOC will attract international exhibitors, visitors and delegates to Accra from 6 to 8 June 2012.

“The combined annual gold output of Ghana, Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Ivory Coast has increased by 65% in five years, to roughly 6.7 million ounces,” says John Thomson, Managing Director of Exhibition Management Services, co-organiser of the exhibition. “These countries will produce 8.5 million ounces a year by 2013. But to do this they will need international partners.”

The 2012 Expo and Conference will see regular participants in the form of mining houses Anglogold Ashanti, Newmont, Goldfields and Golden Star Resources taking part.

“Newmont is the world’s second biggest gold producer, and is planning to double its current production in Ghana to more than a million ounces by 2014,” adds Thomson. “Another company committed to West Africa is Canadian producer Iamgold Corporation - of its one million ounce annual production, over 40% comes from mines in West Africa.”

Randgold Resources plans to produce about 1.2 million ounces of gold a year in the region by 2014, a 300% increase on the current output. Australian-based Resolute Mining Limited is spreading its activities to West Africa in search of more development opportunities.

Mining Suppliers at WAMPEX 2012

Leading explosives supplier BME is a repeat exhibitor at this yearÂ’s WAMPEX show in Accra, where it will be exhibiting its new AXXIS electronic detonator system. The new system provides miners with accurate, safe and controlled blasting, increasing mine safety, efficiency and profitability. Demand for the AXXIS system is strong, particularly in the iron-ore and gold mining sectors.

“We’re also considering setting up more manufacturing facilities in West Africa to handle the demand for our blasting products,” says Ralf Hennecke, general manager of international marketing. “We’ve already reaped some rewards from earlier investments in new manufacturing facilities and new products for the mining sector.”

Mining Fluid Management with Liquid Automation Systems

First-time exhibitor Liquid Automation Systems (LAS) will be showcasing its Clean Break spill prevention couplings for fuel and chemical applications in mining operation, at WAMPEX 2012.

“The new coupling has improved valve seating to reduce pressure loss and increase safety for operators,” says Stephen Pelser, Africa Sales Manager.

“One of our best selling products is a Fuel Management System which is able to monitor fuel received on site, stock levels, fuel pumped from tanks into vehicles and other equipment, and calculate fuel consumption of a fleet,” adds Pelser.

LAS has been supplying fuel accounting and management solutions to mining industries around the world for over 20 years. It has installed systems at mines in Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania, Burkina-Faso and Ghana.

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