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There has been wide industry support as DRC Mining Week is moved to June 2021

The long running DRC Mining Week expo and conference, which was due to take place in Lubumbashi from 7 to 9 October this year has been moved to 15 to 17 June 2021.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 8, 2020
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“We have taken the decision to postpone following a period of continuous engagement with our stakeholders and customers” says David Ashdown, MD of Clarion Events Africa, the organisers of DRC Mining Week for the last 16 years.

“He admits that it was a tough decision due to the opportunity it presents for the industry to connect and drive vital business revenues, but it is the right decision in terms of health and safety.”

Ashdown adds, “We are committed to supporting the DRC in establishing itself as the leading cobalt producer globally and realising its mining wealth through its diversified metals and minerals portfolio.

“We will continue to engage the industry over digital formats, and the team and I are excited to travel back to territory when the opportunity allows. I would like to thank all parties involved in the event for their continued support and encouragement. Thank you.”

Continued engagement with mining community

Meanwhile, the mining industry in the DRC and the many sector suppliers of technology and services have expressed their support for the postponement of the live event until 2021. The SA Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC) regularly attends as many of its members do considerable business in the country.

DRC Mining Week has always been an important market for South African mining suppliers,” says Eric Bruggeman, SACEEC MD and CEO. “With all the uncertainty in the world and country at the moment, it would be very risky to host the exhibition this year.

However, SACEEC and its members are committed to continuing to support DRC Mining Week, and we will be there in full attendance when the exhibition next takes place.”

The recent Digital DRC Mining Week that took place in June 2020 brought together scores of enthusiastic attendees who, during live webinar and matchmaking sessions, agreed on the rich resources that the country is blessed with and the enormous business opportunities that are still continuing at many mines and the many more that will take place in the future.

This does not only entail exploration and mining but there is also a strong drive towards building an innovative beneficiation sector so that the value added to the mined products can stay in-country and benefit the local communities even more.

Some thought-provoking quotes heard during Digital DRC Mining Week include:

  • “Few other countries produce cobalt and we want to position DRC as a key cobalt producer on the international stage.” – DRC Mining Minister, Prof Willy Kitobo Samsoni
  • “Good rewards come with higher risks. DRC still has the better mineral deposits. DRC is still elephant country if you want to find big elephants.” – Rudolph de Bruin, Amed Funds
  • “DRC Mining Week has shown itself to be every bit as innovative as the DRC mining community it operates within by taking the conference into the virtual world in a very professional manner with a host of knowledgeable people taking part.” – Boris Kamstra, Director Pangea and Alphamin Resources

Meanwhile, the live webinar series which was launched in May this year in partnership with Mining Review Africa will continue throughout the build-up to the next live DRC Mining Week in in June 2021.