The Council for Geoscience (CGS) constituted the delegation of Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to the Prospectus and Developers Association Conference (PDAC) in Canada. The conference and trade show is held annually during the first week of March at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto, focusing on the development of junior to mid-tier mining value chain development, spanning exploration (geological information), development, financing, services, legal, and so on. The DMR led the South African delegation supported by the Department of Trade and Industry, Mintek, South African Diamond and Precious Metal Regulator, the CGS as well as the SA High Commission in Canada. The conference officially commenced on Sunday the 5th and continued till Wednesday the 8th of March 2017. The South African government safeguarded a strategic position at the trade show and maintained a strong brand presence while promoting the country as the ideal mining investment destination.
The SA delegation at the PDAC
The seminar, themed “inspiring new ways in mining and prospecting investment” took the form of a panel discussion and comprised of the following panelists: Mr Mosa Mabuza (Acting CEO: CGS), Ms Setepane Mohale (Chief Director: policy), Mr Allan McKenzie (General Manager: Mintek), Mr Xolile Mbonambi (Acting CEO: SADPMR) as well as Mr Frank Hallaman (CFO & Co-founder of Platinum Group Metals Ltd). Advocate Zarina Kellermen, Special Advisor to the Honourable Minister of Mineral Resource Mr Mosebenzi Zwane delivered a keynote address. The seminar assured the mining investment community that the Government of South Africa is committed to finalizing the Mining Charter by end of March while amendments to the MPRDA bill would be finalized by June this year. It also sought to assure them that the South African mining landscape operates in clearly defined regulatory framework, which is protected by our firm Constitutional democracy. In supporting the theme, Mr Mabuza reiterated government’s commitment to “inspiring new ways in mining” by restating the Minister’s announcement of the CGS’ 10 year mapping programme at a scale of 1:50 000, which is aimed at unlocking mining opportunities and ensuring the sustainability of mining in South Africa for the next 150 years. The South African delegation also participated in panel discussions held by Webber Wentzel, Gowlings LLP, Mine Africa and most notably Fasken Martineau DuMoulin where Mr Mabuza and Ms Mohale represented the South African government and sought to dispel the myths that have been created to the international investment community about the country’s regulatory framework.
The CGS representatives met with their counterpart from the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) to discuss aspects of their collaboration as defined in the Country-to-country bilateral agreement under the custodianship of the Department of Mineral Resources for South Africa. The CGS and the GSC have jointly given expression to the afore-stated agreement by entering into a further implementation plan/agreement for the two entities. During this meeting, the respective representative took stock of progress in implementation of the agreement, including on matters relating to GSC’s recent visit to the CGS; as well as possible technical collaborations and exchange programmes between the two entities. This meeting also served as a precursor to the bilateral meeting which would take place the following day between the DMR and Natural Resources Canada.
CGS team pictured here with their GSC counterparts
One of the highlights of the conference was a meeting between CGS representatives and 6 bright students from the University of Limpopo, three of whom are currently studying towards an MSc in Geology at the Laurentian University in Sudbury and the remaining three are on a 3 months exchange programme facilitated by Ivanhoe mine. The students boasted about the various topics of their dissertations and spoke passionately and affectionately of their love for geology. Most of them promised to return to South Africa to apply all the knowledge and expertise acquired from Canada. They were an all-inspiring and awesome group.
SA students in Canada SA pictured here with Mr Mabuza and Mr Ramagwede
In conclusion, the CGS had a very successful conference where meaningful relationships and contacts were established and a whole lot of leads to follow up on.