By Frank Horton
Economically, it creates shared value for sustainable development. As a matter of fact, wealth made through mining is very significant for producing countries.
Also, mining creates jobs which in turn yield taxes to take care of development of infrastructure and the people as a whole. Additionally, it yields foreign exchange and has been known to contribute a significant percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) of mineral endowed nations.
The importance of mining is innumerable. It feeds the manufacturing industry (those that produce high-tech devices, electric vehicles, lifesaving medical equipment or advanced energy technologies of any sort) which largely depends on minerals and metals.
That aside, the products of mining are used to construct roads and hospitals and also to build computers, automobiles, satellites and houses. Other uses include generation of electricity and provision of other goods and services to the benefit of humanity.
POTENTIALS OF MINING IN AFRICA
In the belly of Africa are a lot of minerals; all minerals. Over the years, these minerals have been highly sought after because of the uncountable benefits they bring to mankind. As a move to take advantage of the many minerals buried in Africa’s soil, most countries have put a hold on exporting unprocessed ore by building refineries right here on the African continent.
Africa is blessed with large stores of minerals such as bauxite, cobalt, industrial diamond, phosphate rocks and platinum group metals (PGM) among others and ranks either first or second in quantity and quality of world’s mineral reserves. For many countries here, a chunk of their economies depends on mineral exploration and production. In recent times, many developed countries have started tapping into Africa’s mineral potential. The mining sector has been projected to be that which will turn the fortunes of the continent around when protected with the right policies and regulations.
WEST AFRICA MINING OVERVIEW
Foreign investors have, over a period of years, started showing interest in West Africa’s mining activities. Though this interest has yielded a lot, a lot still needs to be done to bring significant development to the sub-region.
Currently, Southern Africa is no more the mining hub of the continent― West Africa is. Courtesy the high demand for minerals and metals across the globe and investments from international players, numerous mineral exploration projects have been embarked on in the sub-region. West Africa is pregnant with large reserves of bauxite, coal, iron ore, gold, manganese, battery minerals, limestone, etc. This foreknowledge has attracted the attention of global industry players and also increased investments in the mining sector.
Track records of countries like Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Niger and Senegal have proven that West Africa is the epicenter of mining activities on the continent. Mineral exploration in these countries has stood the test of time, recording such an appreciable growth. Thanks to investments.
Governments in such naturally resourced countries have reduced taxes all in a bid to attract investments and boost private partnership projects. This economic growth, courtesy mining, has been felt in so many other industries including the infrastructure and construction-related sectors. Huge civil projects like road, construction, railways, dams, airports, harbors, real estates, etc. have been birthed.
MINING INDUSTRY CHALLENGES
Despite its economic importance, mining has its own demerits. One of such is the lack of knowledge about investments or risks involved in mining exploration all through its production stages. Investors often encounter huge losses when commodity price drops. Another challenge is human rights, environment, public health and safety. Power generation, weak governance, corruption, poverty and security have equally poised major concerns. There is still an ongoing conversation on how to ensure that all such are not taken for granted during mineral explorations in Africa.
In contemporary times, project planning, design and execution have become more complex and challenging. Mineral exploration now require complex and sophisticated mining methods accompanied with more complex technologies to ensure the extraction of high grade mineral deposits.
Oftentimes, projects are unnecessarily held back due to equipment failures. Such have nothing to do with lack of maintenance services but engineering breakdowns which usually occur during production. Many of other support service suppliers offer high-quality products but lack the aftersales services that is so desperately needed and sought after by the mining firms. Support services, thus, contribute significantly to every mining operation.
Recently, local content law has been passed in most African countries endowed with mineral reserves as a means to improve their standard of living and build their capacity in the mining supply chain.
We know it takes great ambition and the right tools to move mountains. We are aware striking an ounce of gold means drilling through meters of rock and crushing tons of ore. The Mercton Resources team will, hence, go every imaginable length to make production as convenient as possible even if it means moving these mountains― literally.
On our team are the finest brains as far as mining is concerned who were carefully chosen after a thorough grooming. The Board of Directors is endowed with world class experience with a refined vision to make the company a topnotch player in the mining industry.
Operating from Ghana, we are strategically positioned to move within any part of West Africa either by sea, air or land with ease to provide our turnkey services which include mineral processing, contract crushing & screening, plant hire and sales, consultancy services, quarry & construction management and after-sales services. Our growth over the years has been awesome. We have been able to establish key partners in Mauritania, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Tanzania. Mercton Resources is well abreast of migration, legal and tax structure in the mining industry. For this reason, we have built a strong network of key partnership in most countries that will aid and advise on smooth transaction structures for the success of our services.
As a business, we are looking beyond the West African horizon. Already, we have started prospecting and exploring opportunities in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, DR Congo and South Sudan. As a dynamic team with strength in mining support services, we have been able to develop a huge clientele base by exposing our clients to many standard options that will make them embark on cost-effective mineral explorations while increasing production.
Mercton Resources provides topnotch services to clients that cut across all mining companies, exploration firms, cement industries, oil and gas, energy, infrastructure, construction and heavy equipment sector. Our sole aim as a business is to make operations cost-effective while reducing the stress to achieve results.
Frank Horton (Chief Executive Officer of Mercton Resources) is a crusher engineer and mining analyst armed with decades of experience, knowledge and a strong drive to develop international standards out of mining support services in Africa. He has successfully assembled a team of experts with vast international experience and exposure.
According to him, Mercton’s aim is to help exploration firms and mining companies find the best methods of unearthing ores and improving productivity and performance across the mining sector. We give a Midas touch to any project we handle. Our secret recipe is to find hard solutions to the hard challenges. We have developed an unwavering duty to provide the best and cost-effective solutions.
We have, over the years, maintained and established an enviable position as a reputable leader in the mining industry in West Africa. As contract mining and crushing & screening specialists, we embrace the hard jobs. Fueled by innovation, passion and enthusiasm, we stay ahead by forecasting yet-to-be challenges and finding modern day solutions to such.
Mercton Resources will continue to provide tailored services to suit the needs of our clients by making available to them a secure supply chain and quality mining support services in Africa.
Author: Frank Horton is a Mineral Analysis and Chief Executive at Mercton Resources