Kitwe, Zambia, May 21, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- The hugely successful launch of the Copperbelt Mining Trade Expo & Conference (CBM-TEC) in Kitwe from 28-29 April attracted 92 exhibitors, 1600 visitors, 140 conference delegates, including Zambian Vice President Dr Guy Scott and Mining, Energy and Water Development Minister, Hon. Christopher Yaluma.
“We clearly identified a specific need and gap in Zambia’s vital mining industry and managed to fill it with a world class exhibition, high-level attendees as well as a very practical, relevant programme which all contributed to CBM-TEC’s real impact. Certainly our expectations were exceeded and we are delighted by the overwhelming welcome we received by Zambia, the mining community and the local media,” says programme director Nicole Smith.
Building a world-class mining industry
According to Smith the focus of the CBM-TEC conference was on building a world-class and sustainable mining industry with Zambia poised to increase copper production over the coming years.
She adds: “Society as a whole must look at issues such as how to manage the environment but also on how best to engage Zambians and Zambian business-owners and manufacturers in the supply chain, so that the mining sector becomes the impetus for stimulating Zambian manufacturing and it becomes the enabler of the growth of Zambian SME’s who can service the sector. There was discussion throughout on how to balance the ratio of local vs. foreign participation in the sector. Also crucial to the growth and sustainability of the industry were the questions around training best practices for the industry and how to create a skilled job force.”
Let’s be open, let’s be honest, let’s be Zambian
The high-level representation from government and industry proved to organisers that the country is serious about taking the Copperbelt forward according to CBM-TEC’s Nicole Smith. The Vice President, the Hon. Dr. Guy Scott, provided the keynote address and conducted the official opening of the exhibition.
He said the environmental agency's responsibility was to ensure compliance to environmental requirements by all industries and economic players. He urged the mining companies to continue dialoguing with the government in an open, frank and transparent manner. "Let's be open, let's be honest, let's be Zambian. We are not making life difficult for your mining companies, we have obligations to the people... if we do not speak frankly and openly, rumour mongers will start spreading falsehoods about our operations," Dr Scott said. He said the government was prepared to work with the mining industry for the good of the country.
Dr Scott was accompanied by Zambia’s Minister of Mining, Energy and Water Development, Hon. Christopher Yaluma, who provided a special address to the conference on the outlook and vision for Zambia’s mining sector.
Says Smith: “It was encouraging to see the excellent participation of key directors within the mining ministry over the two days and the opportunity that was given to the delegates to have a question and answer session with the minister. Another highlight was on day two where we had a snapshot from the key operators in Zambia talking about their expansion projects – on the panel were FQM, Barrick Lumwana, Chibuluma and Lubumbe.”
Who else was in Kitwe?
The Minister of the Copperbelt, the Mayor of Kitwe, the District Commissioner and 11 Directors from the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development. Furthermore there was representation from all the operators: Mopani, Barrick Lumwana, Chibuluma, Lubambe and Konkola Copper Mines. There was also a delegation from the DRC, headed by the VP of the Chamber of Mines in DRC, which provided an excellent opportunity for engagement on cross border issues and opportunities.
Apart from putting the Copperbelt on the map, the mining hub of Kitwe certainly experienced a transformation with the invasion of the CBM-TEC expo and conference. Says Nicole Smith: “Kitwe is a gateway to most of Zambia’s mining region where the operations are based. It was a strategic decision to bring a professional attendance event to the Copperbelt and thereby creating connectivity across the mining value chain. We received many compliments from attendees, exhibitors and sponsors, particularly regarding the quality of the visitors that were walking the expo floor.”
Some feedback from satisfied exhibitors and attendees at CBM-TEC:
• Sylvester Mundaly, Mintek, RSA: “The technical presentation went very well.”
• Bernadette Mulenga, Chibuluma Mines, Zambia: “The conference in tandem with the expo is commendable.”
• Mukula Mukasa, Zambia Development Agency: “Wonderful insight into the Zambian mining chain.”
• Hein Duyts, Brand Representative, RNE Pumps: “The leads we got were quality leads, the event was definitely worth it for us. The marketing was done to the right people, we saw a lot of the decision makers visiting the show, and that is the type of people you want to meet. As a new company starting in Zambia this event was very important to us.”
• Stephen Holt, Tooling Promotions SA: “We’d come back next year purely on the amount of interest shown. We had a lot of interest in our offerings.”
• Jacques Britz, Sandvik (platinum sponsor): “The event went really well and we are happy that it had the right focus, the whole set up was done really well and that’s why we’ve rebooked our space and sponsorship for next year.”
Dates for next year’s CBM-TEC:
Conference and expo: 5-6 May 2015
Location: Kitwe, Zambia