Mining companies are increasingly exploring the depths of the oceans to mine precious stones and metals such as diamonds, gold, copper, lead and zinc.  The move to underwater and undersea mining is gaining momentum worldwide and will be explored during the upcoming MINE-TECH International 2009 conference and exhibition at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg from 2-4 November 2009.

While the global mining industry has not been immune to the worldwide recession, the sector is already in an upswing and many mining houses are looking are looking at recent advances in technology to help them address the myriad challenges they face. MINE-Tech International assembles the foremost researchers, major and junior mining houses, and solution providers to the mining community, and showcases the latest technological advances and key global trends now available to the industry.

Underwater mining: the new frontier
Unlocking underwater resources is a relatively underexplored field in the mining sector. Undersea mining in southern Africa began off the west coast of Namibia with Texan oilman  Sam Collins recovering his first diamonds in 1961.  The mining of diamonds from the deep water (100 to 200 metres) off South Africa began recently, in 2007, by De Beers.  The Underwater Mining Forum takes place on 2 November as part of  MINE-TECH International 2009. This one-day workshop will look at the viability of underwater mining, operational and logistical requirements, and will provide a considered assessment of the current state of play, technologies and capabilities, as well as future developments. The Underwater Mining Forum will be hosted by Marine and Mineral Projects, an innovative engineering firm renowned for its technological advances in unlocking underwater resources.

More expert speakers
The South African Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom, will present the keynote address on:
“The role of technology, innovation and human resource development in the mining sector”.

Other topics and high-level speakers featured include:

  • Eskom’s recently announced power hikes for the next few years will impact severely on the mining sector, which is responsible for 18% of the country’s total power consumption. Mining houses will have to increase their efforts to conserve power and ensure optimum efficiency of power usage.
    • “Demand-Side-Management for power efficiency, cost savings and maximum productivity”
      Keith Arnold, Energy Engineer, Southern African Operations, AngloGold Ashanti, South Africa
  • The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002 requires all mining companies operating in South Africa to submit a Social and Labour Plan as a pre-requisite for the granting of mining or production rights. The Social and Labour Plan requires applicants for mining and production rights to develop and implement wide-ranging human resources development programmes, and are required to provide comprehensive reporting on the progress of these programmes.
    • “Establishing Social and Labour Plan reporting mechanisms at your mine”.
      Sue Brandt, Managing Director, Managing Transformation Solutions, South Africa
  • The recent spate of mine accidents has highlighted the need for an increased safety culture in the mining sector:
    • “Leadership rhetoric and reality in driving a positive safety culture”
      Alvin Vink, Development Specialist, Open-Book Consulting, Australia
    • “Advanced communication technologies supporting safe production”
      Anton Meyer, Senior Control Engineer, Barrick Gold Corporation, USA
    • “Systems engineering and safety design for operational effectiveness”
      Johann Holm, Director: Professional Services, Faculty of Engineering, North West University, South Africa
  • “Sourcing opportunities in China – strategic planning and procedures to access this market”
    Kobus van der Wath, Managing Director, The Beijing Axis, China
  • The Technical Skills Forum will review the current skills situation both in South Africa and abroad, look at strategies to address technical skills shortages and unpack issues such as workforce planning and development, skills retention, retrenchments, and linking training to business results.

MINE-TECH International 2009 will bring together suppliers to the industry, major and junior mining houses worldwide to explore technology innovations and ensure they are strategically positioned to take advantage of the predicted upswing in the global demand for resources.

For more information on the conference and exhibition and to download the complete programme, go to the event website: www.minetechexpo.com

For more information on the conference contact:
Conference producer:  Piera Abbott
Phone:  +27 (0) 21 700-3500 EXT:  3545
Mobile:  +27 (0) 76 130 5779
Email:  piera.abbott@spintelligent.com  
For media enquiries, accreditation and speaker interviews contact:
Marketing Manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Phone:  +27 (0) 21 700-3500 EXT: 3558
Mobile:  +27 (0) 82 562 7844
Email:  annemarie.roodbol@spintelligent.com
More events by Spintelligent:  www.spintelligent-events.com
Venue and location:
Gallagher Convention Centre
19 Richards Drive
Midrand, Johannesburg
South Africa