Sustainability key to growth in Africa

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Africa is the most mineral rich continent on earth and open for business in a big way, this has not gone unnoticed by the industry’s executives who have announced their meeting at the latest NG Mining Africa summit.

The continent’s mining industry is continually expanding and adapting to changing conditions with more international companies scrambling for a piece of the continent’s resources. But is now the time to start considering the environmental impact.

For good reasons, the mining sector has come under more scrutiny globally than any other in the past two decades. Whereas mining has attracted considerable foreign direct investment into Africa, has generated ancillary infrastructure, and boosted export earnings, it’s environmental, developmental and governance records have been highly uneven, ranging from the exemplary to the corrupt, unscrupulous and destructive.

Yet the mining sector has and continues to reform itself in significant respects and a new genre of mining operation is evident in Africa. Its role is to not just be a good Corporate Citizen but also a potential driver of local, regional and national development.

New age mining in Africa is not only possible, it is essential for long-term sustainability and a need for real, rather than nominal, trilateral partnerships between mining houses, government and local communities are fundamental to success, a committee of African Mining Execs has now been formed to confront the environmental impacts while sustaining profitable growth. The Committee consisting of executives from African Diamonds Plc – James Campbell, Managing Director , Banro Corporation – Michael Prinsloo, President & CEO , Ghana Chamber of Mines – Joyce Aryee, CEO and the Xstrata Group – Andile Sangqu, CEO Africa Executive Director, will meet at the NG Mining Africa summit (hosted by GDS International) to discuss the future.

With considerable environmental complications, including chronic soil degradation, chemical contamination, and air pollution it is the responsibility of a few to protect the many and the sustainability of Africa’s mining future will be key in its viability. Is the industry ready to face its responsibilities?

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