The 9th Namibian Mining Expo and Conference, scheduled from 31 August to 1 September 2022, will be the first in-person event for the mining industry after the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to expo organisers, the Chamber of Mines of Namibia, there is no greater news than the realisation the world is finally returning to normal after two years of surviving the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The whole Chamber team is gearing up and preparing for what promises to be an exciting and successful Mining Expo & Conference at the Windhoek Showgrounds,” said chamber CEO Veston Malango.
Malango indicated this year’s event coincides with an improving outlook for the mining industry, supported by a buoyant mineral commodity market, and a fast-paced operating environment, evolving with rapid technological advancements being made in the mining sector.
“The current landscape most certainly augurs well for a valuable event that will see business ventures catalyse from these dynamic opportunities,” said Malango.
“The outlook for mining remains as favourable as ever and we are eagerly following a sustained recovery in the price of uranium and a continued surge in mineral commodity prices as the world transitions to green energy solutions,” he added.
The mining sector is involved in exploring new frontiers, such as using natural resources like gas or solar power to produce (green) hydrogen, which has applications in mining operations.
For instance using hydrogen fuel cells to power haul trucks and ammonium nitrate, being a product of ammonia, has a wide application as a major component for explosives (ANFO).
“The Chamber is at the forefront of the discussion around a green hydrogen industry in Namibia and linkages with other sectors of the economy and chairs one of the Private Sector Green Hydrogen Working Groups,” Malango explained.
The chamber CEO attributes the enduring success of the mining sector to a collaborative approach between government and the industry.
The Chamber has remained firm in its commitment to supporting government in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Chamber members stepped up, in partnership with other key private sector players under the NCCI-led Business Namibia Covid-19 Response Initiative, to address the country-wide oxygen shortfall by donating and distributing oxygen and other medical supplies to state medical hospitals,” said Malango.
The Chamber, as the voice of the industry, continuously engages stakeholders on topics like sustainability, value addition, local procurement, environmental standards, taxation as well as health and safety.
According to Malango, even though it has been a grim time for Namibia, such collaborative partnerships demonstrate the industry’s commitment to operating safely to overcome this pandemic together.
Some concrete examples of the post-Covid-19 recovery are AfriTin securing a finance deal with Standard Bank for expansion of operations and completing a dual listing on Namibia’s Stock Exchange – and the Rössing mine, which recorded its best safety performance in the history of the operation.
Meanwhile, Paladin Energy announced it will restart operations by Q1 of 2024 at its Langer Heinrich mine, which was placed on care and maintenance in 2018.
Subsequently, the Chamber is confident the industry will continue to explore new frontiers with inventive and innovative solutions that promote growth and resilience.
The 2022 Mining Expo also offers exhibitors new avenues to market their products and engage with the sector.
“This year, we will introduce a dedicated Suppliers Platform and the Business 2 Business feature, which enables exhibitors to arrange direct meetings with players in the mining sector,” said Malango.
In addition, he said, the Chamber is excited to announce RMB is the official sponsor of the Mining Conference, the cocktail event and the Expo marketing channels that include the B2B and the Supplier’s Platform.
The conference programme is scheduled to feature speakers from a variety of industry players excited to share innovative ways of breaking new frontiers in a post-pandemic era, covering topics on the resurgence of Namibia’s uranium sector, the re-opening of historic mines, new frontiers of resilience, transitioning Namibia’s mining sector into the fourth industrial revolution, green hydrogen and the catalyst for establishing a sustainable and environmentally responsible phosphate-based industry, among others.