DR Congo’s mining sector in the spotlight this month

KatangaMiningWeekA file photo of the Katanga Mining Week held in 2014. (Image source: iPAD)The 11th edition of Infrastructure Partnerships for African Development (iPAD)’s DRC Mining and Infrastructure Indaba and the sixth edition of the Katanga Mining Week will be held this month in DR Congo

DRC Mining and Infrastructure Indaba will be held in Kinshasa between 15 and 16 October 2015, while Katanga Mining Week will be conducted between 20 and 21 October in Lubumbashi.

The event organisers are looking forward to both mining events, which they believe could play a major role in transforming the Central African country’s economy. DR Congo is currently awaiting the approbation of the mining code in country’s parliament. In addition, weak commodity prices, poor finance and investment opportunities are affecting the healthy development of the region’s mining sector.

iPAD event director Nicole Smith said, “Mining operators, however, are increasingly looking at ways to curb operational spending while maintaining or increasing production levels. During iPAD DRC and Katanga Mining Week, we look forward to hearing our top industry peers share best practice and the latest project updates.”

To allow greater discussion and exchange of ideas that could uplift DR Congo’s mining sector, a series of conferences will be held at DRC Mining and Infrastructure Indaba. Some of the speakers include Martin Kabwelulu Labilo, Ministry of Mines, DRC; Jean Felix Mupande, executive director of Mining Cadastral, DRC; Louis Watum, executive director of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd, DRC; Simon Tuma Waku, vice-president, Federation of Congolese Enterprises / Mining, DRC; Mark Bristow, CEO of Randgold Resources UK; Mark Farren, executive vice-president of Operation Ivanhoe Mines, DRC; John Clark, CEO, Banro, Canada and Yves Bawa, PACT, regional technical advisor, Mines to Markets initiative, DRC.

In addition, the iPAD DRC Mining Awards will also be held, which will also witness a new category called Mining Woman of the Year.

Meanwhile, the Katanga Mining Week is expected to focus more on the local challenges of the province as the hub of copper and cobalt mining in DR Congo. Additionally, the role of the mining industry in social development responsibilities will also be highlighted, said the organisers.

Smith added, “Infrastructure, the railways, the fiscal regime and daily challenges that the mining operators encounter will be addressed and the specifics of the environment regulation will be elaborated on. Power and key solutions for the Katanga province will have a dedicated session, this is to help boost the production of copper and cobalt.”

Even at the Katanga Mining Week, attendees can expect a host of conferences, which will focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) as well as best practices that will be shared across platforms. The expected line up of speakers include Moise Chapwe, governor, Governorate of Katanga, DRC; Eric Mboma, executive director, Standard Bank, DRC; Marie Chantal Kaninda, chief advisor external affairs Africa, Rio Tinto; Elise Vigier, technical advisor, GIZ, Germany; Charles Carron Brown, COO, Tiger Resources, Kipoi Mine, DRC; Guy Nzuru, Manager, Ivanhoe Mines Ltd, DRC and Ilunga Ilunkamba, executive director, National Railways Networks, DRC.

The two events are being duly patronised by the industry heavyweights, according to the organisers. Ivanhoe Mines is the diamond sponsor and Standard Bank the platinum sponsor in Kinshasa. Banro Corporation, Engen and Tenke Fungurume have signed up as platinum sponsors at both events. Aggreko, Andritz Hydro and Tiger Resources are gold sponsors.

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