“Zambia’s mining sector contributes over 70% to country’s foreign earnings”
The Copperbelt Mining Trade Expo & Conference (CBM-TEC) will once again gather thousands of mining experts and services providers to the industry from 5-6 May in Kitwe, which is the heart of the Zambian Copperbelt. This follows a hugely successful launch of the event last year that ‘put the Copperbelt on the map’ and exceeded all expectations with 92 exhibitors, 1600 visitors, 140 conference delegates, including the former Zambian Vice President and Minister of Mining, Energy and Water Development.
Once again the event enjoys the support of industry and is endorsed by the Zambia Chamber of Mines. “CBM-TEC 2015 will truly add value to the Zambia investment climate and help in networking local small and medium enterprises with international players,” says Mr Jackson Sikamo, President of the Zambia Chamber of Mines.
He adds: “the high-level conference during the expo provides wide ranging and resourceful topics, from the new power generation capacity impact on the mining sector to the role of international supply and service companies.”
Acording to Mr Sikamo, Zambia will need to reposition itself and continue to attract investment through initiatives such as trade expos and conferences. “Trade exhibitions, especially with a mix of local and international companies, provide an opportunity to Zambia to help achieve the idea of diversification.”
Mining sector contributes 70%+
Zambia’s mining sector contributes over 70 per cent to the country’s foreign exchange earnings says the Chamber President. He adds: “to demonstrate the importance of mining now, since completion of the privatisation process in the year 2000, the sector has seen more than US$ 12 billion new investments, which have resulted in copper production rising. Aside from investing in improving operations of the mines, rehabilitating processing facilities, and opening up new mines, significant investment has been made in Corporate Social Responsibility projects – health, education, roads rehabilitation, agriculture etc. These projects have assisted communities in alleviating poverty through employment, improving skills and creating opportunities for small and medium entrepreneurs.”
Value Added Tax Rule 18
Looking towards 2015, Mr Sikamo notes that “there is a need to resolve the issue surrounding Value Added Tax Rule 18 and hoping for a speedy and constructive resolution on the new Mineral Royalty Tax with the Zambian government. The industry is also looking forward to a stable business environment and consistent policy framework to help the mining sector increase production so at to push up direct, indirect and induced employment which now stands at 147,000.”
Zambia a mining hot spot
Copperbelt Mining Trade Expo & Conference event director Nicole Smith says last year’s launch was a landmark event for the Copperbelt region and “a strong signal from the industry that it is a much-needed forum and we will make sure that we stay relevant. We have shown that there is great benefit in creating a professional attendance platform that caters to all segments of the mining value chain – an event where suppliers and buyers can link up.”
She adds: “our message remains that Zambia is a mining hot spot and the country’s political stability and legal framework have made it an attractive investment environment. Investors are always concerned about their risk and those conversations flare up when laws are set to change.”
Local industry to benefit
The CBM-TEC conference programme will also focus on a critical pre-occupation for Zambia mining right now, namely the creation of Zambian linkages in the value chain, for local industry to benefit. Given the emphasis on local content and Zambian participation in the mining industry, the event will launch a Zambian SME Village on the expo floor, inviting wholly owned Zambian service providers and suppliers to participate more visibly in the event, and giving them a direct line to purchasing managers but also to international companies who may want to find agents or distribution partners.
Says Nicole: “we will also hear from the big mining operators in the region, including Mopani Copper Mines’ CEO Johan Jansen. “Another highlight is the two days of free technical workshops, covering health and safety, continuous improvement, chemicals, engineering and maintenance. We also have a larger expo, so we expect up to 30 more companies to be exhibiting this year.”
Sandvik Mining is returning as platinum sponsor for the event while the Association of Zambian Mineral Exploration Companies (AZMEC) and the Lusaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry are also supporters again.
CBM-TEC is organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK.
CBM-TEC dates and location:
5-6 May: Conference and exhibition
Location: Mist Gardens, Kitwe, Zambia