South Africa-based explosives leader BME will be showcasing its African presence, expertise and technology at the 2019 Investing in African Mining Indaba from February 4th to 7th in Cape Town; it will also highlight its strengthened presence in West Africa, which is poised to become one of the top five gold-producing regions in the world.
“The mood is even more buoyant than it has been in previous years,” said Michael Klaasen, BME’s general manager for West Africa operations. “Almost all the countries in this region have vast mineral reserves that remain untouched, making it a very lucrative area for foreign investment.”
"Almost all the countries in this region have vast mineral reserves that remain untouched, making it a very lucrative area for foreign investment,"— Michael Klaasen, BME’s general manager for West Africa
With some of the world’s largest deposits of gold, bauxite, iron ore and diamonds, Klaasen noted that it was encouraging to see many West African governments seeking to make their mining charters easier to adhere to – a step likely to further encourage investment in minerals. Governance and political instability remain constant challenges, however, and illegal mining has increased across the region in the last couple of years, he said.
A division of the JSE-listed Omnia Group, BME manufactures explosives at emulsion plants across the region and supplies mining and quarrying operations in a number of countries.
“We will have eight emulsion plants in West Africa by the end of the first quarter of 2019, after we commission a new plant at Endeavour Mining’s Ity mine in the Ivory Coast,” he said. This contract was awarded in October 2018. He said Ivory Coast had considerable mineral potential, with important occurrences of gold, diamonds, iron, nickel, cobalt, copper, manganese and bauxite.