The increasing interest in doing business in the DRC was evident at the recent annual Katanga Mining Briefing and iPAD* DRC which gathered more than 800 participants in the capital of Kinshasa and the prominent mining hub Lubumbashi, with attendees that included regional and national government leaders, sector specialists and international mining houses. Both events are organised by the Cape Town-based Spintelligent, which is part of Clarion Events.
*iPAD=Infrastructure Partnerships for African Development
From small trade mission to definitive meeting place
Says iPAD DRC and Katanga Mining Briefing programme director Nicole Smith: “over the last eight years, iPAD DRC has evolved from a small trade mission to Congo for mining and power professionals to the definitive meeting place for stakeholders in the DRC’s extractive industries that it is today. Furthermore, the Katanga Mining Briefing, over the last three years, has grown exponentially to become the only think-tank for investors, operators and government who are concerned with the growth and the industrialisation of the copper and cobalt sector.”
Katanga event’s massive growth
The third annual Katanga Mining Briefing brought together 490 participants. The conference theme was “Katanga: the industrial motor of the DRC – strategies to accelerate production capacity in the copper belt”. The event has seen massive growth with 40 companies exhibiting, compared to just 16 last year.
Says Nicole Smith: “not only was our exhibition larger than ever before, we introduced technical sessions for the first time which were very successful. They were divided into Copper Extraction, Mining Operations and Copper Processing. Gecamines hosted a cocktail function after the first day which provided an excellent opportunity for extended networking. MMG, our platinum sponsors, organised a very valuable site visit to the Kinsevere project. “
The Katanga Mining Briefing enjoys high-level support from the Government of Katanga Province and the charismatic Governor of Katanga, His Excellency Moise Katumbi Chapwe, opened the event. The Provincial Minister of Mines, Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock and Rural Development, His Excellency Barthelemy Mumba Gama, provided an address on the Expansion of Mining Activities in Katanga and the Necessity for Revising the Mining Code.
iPAD DRC highlights
The eighth iPAD DRC took place in Kinshasa, and some 440 delegates gathered to discuss in particular: power infrastructure and transport; the business climate and measures taken to improve this as well as the imminent revisions to the DRC’s mining code.
- Senior Presidential Advisor on Infrastructure, Mazunga Kimbembe, spoke about the importance of the iPAD DRC event over the years in his opening address.
- The welcome address was delivered on behalf of Martin Kabwelulu, Minister of Mines, by Pascal Muhindo, Secretary General at the Ministry of Mines.
- Michael Nossal, Executive GM, Business Development of MMG, Australia provided the keynote presentation and explained why MMG had turned its sights onto Africa.
- Randgold Resources CEO, Dr. Mark Bristow provided an address on Building a worldclass gold mine in partnership with the DRC.
- Australian junior Tiger Resources’ Charles Carron Brown, COO of Tiger Congo SPRL, delivered a presentation on the Kipoi Project
Feedback from satisfied attendees in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi:
- “A very informative event that enables focused networking.”
Thembi Majola, Aurecon
- “This type of event really uplifts our image to the world out there.”
Nicky Nianga, Cohydro
- “Let’s install a good business climate in the DRC with iPAD!”
Andia Mandza, Cadastre Minier
- “Such conference increases the development rate of a country.”
M. Mangwele, SNEL
- “Awesome registration process, Good spakers choice – well done!”
Mandza Andia – Mining Cadastre
The iPAD DRC and KMB programme director sees the events growing exponentially: “certainly we are growing by leaps and bounds as there is clearly a keen interest in doing business here and a huge need for information. The strength of our events is that we have been coming here for a long time now and we have really close and beneficial relationships with the national and regional governments as well as the industry here. And we make sure that our sponsors, exhibitors and delegates meet the right people.”
Nicole Smith explains how the events will grow next year: “while the spotlight is certainly on the Katanga Province, being the copper hub and industrial motor of the DRC, Kinshasa remains critical as this is the seat of government where all policies are made. For this reason, in 2013, iPAD DRC will change its format slightly to ensure even closer interaction between investors, the business sector and central government. The meeting will take an Executive Insider Briefing format and will encourage a lot more round table discussion with the view to have a series of recommendations made by the end of the meeting. Priority will be given to issues around transparency, the fiscal regime, the business climate and infrastructure.”
She continues: “in Lubumbashi in 2013, the Katanga Mining Briefing will grow the technical component of the event as well as expand the focus on infrastructure for mining operations. The exhibition will grow to accommodate at least 60 companies, compared to 40 this year. Site visits will be on offer and one-to-one meetings will be arranged for key sponsors.”
Event websites: http://kinshasa.drc.ipad-africa.com/ ; http://lubumbashi.drc.ipad-africa.com/ ; http://oilgas.ipad-africa.com/
For more information, interviews and photographs:
Communications manager: Annemarie Roodbol
Tel. +27 21 700 3558
Fax. +27 21 700 3501
Mobile: +27 82 562 7844