South African delegates Kealeboga Seleka and Palesa Naka with the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe after his address at the African Down Under International Conference in Perth, Australia. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – The South African business people who participated in the three-day Africa Down Under (ADU) International Mining Conference and Exhibition that ended in Perth, Australia, are optimistic that the trade leads they secured there will generate concrete deals, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) said. 

The companies’ participation was part of the Outward Selling Mission to Australia organised and funded by the dti, the department said in a statement on Saturday. 

The business people said that they were returning with an impressive amount of promising trade leads, credible contacts, and valuable information that they would have to sift through and follow up on to pursue potentially tangible deals. 

The director of Business Development at the North West-based Beake Africa, Kealeboga Seleka, said that he managed to hold productive meetings with all the companies he had planned to have discussions with during the mission. 

“I saw all the companies that I had planned to meet on this trip. I particularly had fruitful discussions with an Australian company that is setting up mining operations in the Northern Cape. We explored the feasibility of us providing them with steel, and have agreed to meet for formal discussions next week. Hopefully something tangible will come out of those follow-up negotiations,” Seleka said. 

The director of Azmet Technology and Projects, Ruan Kukard, said that he managed to hold positive meetings with representatives of ministries of mines from 17 African countries, particularly to market his company's new cyanide removal technology. 

“The meetings provided me with a good overview of resources, projects, and developments in various African countries. The exposure that you get in this kind of an event and the contacts that I have made are very valuable. We already have projects that we are currently executing in Ethiopia and Sudan, and the meetings went a long way in solidifying our relationships with mining officials from those countries. We have been impressed by the interest that our cyanide removal technology generated among many companies here,” Kukard said. 

The chief executive of the Steel Tube Export Association of South Africa, Keitumetse Moumakoe, said that the amount of information he gathered at the ADU in regards to mining projects planned or taking place in many African countries was overwhelming. 

“We were able to understand what is going on in the continent in regards to mining projects, and the information will assist us sift through the projects and identify those that our members can be able to take advantage of and participate in. We also managed to engage with many chief executives of mining companies and senior government officials,” Moumakoe said. 

The managing director of Broederstroom-based Nxco Mining Technologies, Johan Groenewald, was also impressed with the calibre of the officials and the quality of meetings he managed to have during the three days. 

“We managed to meet with quite an impressive number of senior representatives from mining companies, and this helped us a lot in making them understand our product better. We managed to successfully introduce our sensitive rock-breaking solutions to many of them. An Australian company operating mines in Lesotho and Angola has shown interest in our products and has invited us to conduct tests in Lesotho. There are also numerous leads that we will be following up on soon,” Groenewald said. 

African News Agency (ANA)