DRC Minister of Mines Martin Kabwelulu Labilo at opening session in Lubumbashi in June
“There is no doubt that 2016 is a challenging year for the mining sector and therefore, also for the DRC” says Elodie Delagneau, event director for the upcoming DRC Mining Week that is taking place in June in Lubumbashi, the heart of DRC’s Katanga mining region.
She continues: “the DRC’s mining community, as well as many other mining companies around the globe, are facing structural and financial issues that have hampered the viability and the productivity of their current operations. The challenges are multiple, however, at the end of the day we know that the main feeling out there is: ‘business as usual: yes, but we need to cut costs’. Right now, cutting costs to stay ahead will require operational excellence. Furthermore, considerable improvements in technologies and innovative solutions will have to be implemented to maintain productivity on a bankable level.”
Power remains obstacle
The DRC Mining Week director adds: “energy supply obviously remains a big obstacle in the Katanga region but in the rest of the country as well and this has pushed the operators to develop their own sources of power, taking some of the pressure off the national utility, SNEL.”
She adds: “to grow the local sector, finding alternatives when it comes to financing current or potential new CAPEX investors is crucial to facilitate the entry of new actors, bringing guarantees and transparency to the industry players. The uncertainty of the election date is a factor, but leaves a window for local and international stakeholders to find alternatives and efficient solutions to keep up viable production.”
iPAD created a movement in the DRC
DRC Mining Week is the combination of the hugely successful, longstanding mining events, iPAD DRC and Katanga Mining Week, having merged into one strategic show, taking place in Lubumbashi from 8-9 June this year.
It will be the only mining expo and conference providing market intelligence, strategic solutions and innovative technologies for mining operations. Last year, a record total of more than 800 attendees were at both events.
“This is our 12th year of organising infrastructure and mining events in the DRC under the iPAD brand and more than ever we believe in this sector and this country” says Elodie Delagneau. She adds: “I think that iPAD created a movement, an initiative that is now recognised across the country and among all the stakeholders within the mining industry and beyond. We have been successfully working hand in hand with the Ministry of Mines and the Chamber of Mines since day one, and they have made a considerable contribution to the success of the platform and its longevity.”
The new DRC Mining Week will provide four days of high-level networking, free training and the latest technologies, including a Power Focus Day, two-day conference, technical workshops, indoor and bigger outdoor expo, the Mining Industry Awards, CEO roundtables, B2B speed-networking, and site visits. Early confirmed opening keynote speakers are none other than the DRC’s Minister of Mines, H.E Martin Kabwelulu Labilo and the Managing Director of Standard Bank DRC, Eric Mboma.
Says the DRC Mining Week event director: “this year we wanted the audience to get more involved in the content and participate during the conference on a dynamic manner. We are pulling together exciting CEO roundtables, as well as controversial panel discussions, allowing a certain flexibility.”
Elodie explains: “we will break down the various challenges in the industry for discussion including: maintaining growth in capital austerity; tracking due diligence; consolidating market share and improve productivity; the gold and copper forecast; innovative technologies and tools assisting mining operations; local content development and finally we will have a special focus on the development of artisanal mining into sustainable development”.
She adds: “on the expo side, we are thrilled to announce that we opened an outdoor area for machinery and equipment display, adding over 1000 sqm to the current capacity we had. It’s time for the big toys to show their stuff!”
“Something we are also really proud and excited about this year”, says Elodie, “will be the support and presence of a South African DTI pavilion, showcasing over 15 South African companies, targeting the DRC as a key market for them.”
DRC Mining Industry Awards
The annual DRC Mining Industry Awards will also take place for the third time during DRC Mining Week on 8 June.
Last year, the awards formed a highlight on the DRC’s mining industry calendar when some of the sector’s best known companies and pioneers were honoured for their contributions. Winners in 2015 included Tenke Fungurume Mining who won two awards: as Mining Company of the Year and for Best Performer in Environmental Management.
The judging committee will comprise local mining industry professionals who will have insight into the leading people and projects during the last 12 months in the DRC.
Impressive industry support
As with past iPAD events, the DRC Mining Week has already secured impressive industry support through the platinum sponsorships of Banro Corporation, Engen, Standard Bank and Tenke Fungurume Mining, while Aggreko, Ernst&Young and Tiger Resources Limited will be gold sponsors.
DRC Mining Week 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.
DRC Mining Week dates and venue:
DRC Mining Industry Awards: 8 June 2016 – La Bohème, Lubumbashi
Strategic Conference days: 8-9 June 2016
Expo: 8-9 June 2016
Pre-conference: 7 June 2016
Site visits: 10 June 2016
Venue: Grand Karavia Hotel, Lubumbashi, Katanga, DRC