Generally speaking Africa holds a great potential of wealth due to its abundant rich and natural minerals which could lead to maximum economic growth. This blog will explore some key issues for mining projects in Africa and will suggest ways in which they can be overcome.

Angola is the third largest diamond producer in Africa. Currently the government is exploring partnerships and feasibility studies to continue projects in a manner that will not harm the areas’ biodiversity and is also pursuing the exploitation of the following minerals:

Manganese

Copper

Gold

Phosphates

Granite

Marble

Uranium

Quartz

Lead

Zinc

Wolfram

Tin

Fluorite

Sulphur

Feldspar

Kaolin

Mica

Asphalt

Gypsum

Talc

Mining projects across Africa are frequently exposed to a wide range of issues, from the planning phase, during the operation phase and up to mine closure.

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Human Resource Management

Intra-community tension over a mining company’s recruitment strategy, rivalry and perceived favoritism of one community over the other can result in unease and instability for a mining project.

In order to fight this matter, it is vital to make sure that the staffing of a mining plan is sufficiently balanced. It should comprise a combination of employees from overseas as well as from the country in which the mining project is being established. Adequate training is essential in order to ensure that local communities are given the opportunity to perform the roles that are required on a mining project.

Crisis management

Civil disruption and violence can often break out during periods of political turmoil, such as elections. Mining companies need to plan ahead in order to have a clear exit strategy for their employees. It is essential to identify threats and constantly be aware of potential risks. The strategies should be updated often to guarantee a smooth response when a crisis arises.

Theft

Theft of metal is increasingly costing mining businesses a lot of capital as well as causing disruption. Metal is frequently illegally removed at mining projects from sites such as railway lines to sell. Yes, it may be hard to continually monitor several hundred kilometres of track, yet engaging with the communities at the outset of the mining project and providing opportunities for them to be involved in the mining project will assist with limiting such financial losses.

Security

Employees feeling unsafe at home and at the workplace can create a difficult and fraught environment. Surveillance and adequate security at a mining project in order to protect both its employees and its assets is a key requirement. Care should be taken to ensure that residential areas are secured with rigorously trained local security guards. Reassurance to employee residents that security operations are effective is essential. Through the early implementation of security plans, mining projects can certify that local security guards offer security for employees and assets and that key staff have appropriate security in place.

The challenges and key issues mentioned above can be fought by advance planning, organisation and the provision of education and training. Accepting and engaging with local communities is of supreme significance. By developing a clear strategy at the outset of a mining project and obtaining community support, many of the above issues can be prevented or minimised.

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