China and the world listen to each other
---Sidelights of South African Mining Indaba 2013
Source: www.cgs.gov.cn Citation: www.gtzyb.com Date: March 4, 2013
On February 5th, when Beijing is busy celebrating the coming Spring Festival, Cape Town, tens of thousands of miles away，is also bustling with noise and excitement. The opening ceremony of South African Mining Indaba 2013 is going on in Cape Town International Convention Center. The reporters, following the Chinese government delegation who attends South African Mining Indaba for first time, not only witness the boom of the mining but also experience the charm and attraction of China which is a mining giant in the world.
1. Global mining arouses “gold rush” in South Africa
South African Mining Indaba is deserved to be called the “button” tying Africa’s mining and the whole world. This year, more than 7700 people gather here. They come from different countries, have different color of skin, speak different languages, but have the same goal: rushing into South Africa for “gold” which is mining information actually.
After a brief opening ceremony, people immediately flooded into forums and exhibition areas. They looked for different targets according to their own perspectives and needs. The corridor was crowded and everyone carried a lot of materials. People held the camera and took photos for the important information. Beside the booth, people talked to each other. Although they spoke different language, they communicated with each other by gestures, paper and pencils. Just in this way, the profound business network was formed, and mining peers became friends.
"Over the years, South African Mining Indaba has become the largest party of the most influential stakeholders in mining industry. There are financiers, investors, mining experts, and policy makers coming here to collect valuable information and offer investment and cooperation opportunities." Jonathan Moore, the vice president of African Mining Indaba said.
Wang Jinglong, director of propaganda division from Information Center under the Ministry of Land and Resources, said: “there are global mining industry leaders and influential investors whose wisdom and insight will inspire people, especially in determining directions and grasping market”.
Do you want to find the exploration project satisfying your need? Do you want to know relevant industry information and the latest technology? Do you want to find the investors for your project? Do you want to enjoy financial and legal services in international standards? Now, you have arrived at the African Mining Indaba. So, what are you worried about?
Here, there are a lot of mining information. The global mining exploration and development projects, technology, capital and services have realized seamless joint.
More than 100 fascinating forums and deep communication give representatives the opportunity to share their thoughts and information. The forum is divided into three parts: Review and prospect of minerals market; Keynote reports of nine well-known scholars, and achievement reports of large-scale mining company; Twenty African government’ s forums and Seven non-African governments’ forums. In the forum, the topics are from the world economic situation analysis to the trend of mining market, from forecast for the bulk minerals and precious metals to the development of mining mineral’s smelting and processing technology, from African exploring trend to countries’ mining policy, from the world’s mineral resources distribution to the strategy of mining company, from resources hotspot to the influencing factors for investment, from green mining construction to mining personnel training, from miners’ interests to the restriction of resource nationalism, from mining’s merger to financing consulting services. The contents are really explosive.
In the exhibition hall, there are more than 1000 booths which have become the stages for the companies and governments. Powerful excavator model, standing giant tires, clean field caravanning, content-rich mineral geological map and colorful core samples etc. The exhibits are fantastic. There are more than 400 exhibitors and each of them tried their best to exhibit. Therefore, representatives’ information packs are filled with different countries’ and companies’ mining policy, mineral exploration’s reality and development planning, investment opportunities and projects, as well as equipment and software achievement.
During the conference, delegates from China shuttle from forums to exhibition hall in order to collect all kinds of data. Representatives from Fujian, Hebei and Xinjiang Ministry of Land and Resources are very active. They actively communicate with global mining people, especially African countries’ representatives. Representatives from Xinjiang bring “Xinjiang Geological Mineral Resources Introduction Brochures”to promote mineral resources in Xinjiang and draw into mining investment.
A participant said: “The energetic South African Mining Indaba fully shows that the mining economy is recovering."
Indeed, African Mining Indaba is the "barometer" and "gauge" for world economy and mining situation. "Mining is the forefront of industrial chain and is the most sensitive factor for world economy. From the number of participants for African Mining Indaba , we can know the trend of the world economy.” Wang Min, director of Chinese government delegation, vice minister of Ministry of Land and Resources and director of China Geological Survey Bureau said. According to the statistics, only about 5000 and 4000 respectively quitted attending the conference because of the financial crisis in 2009 and 2010.. This year, South African Mining Indaba has attracted more than 100 countries from six continents, 1800 international enterprises and 7700 delegates which increases 10% compared to 2012. Obviously, this reveals that the international mining industry shows great confidence for world economic recovery.
2. African Mining Indaba First Enjoys Chinese Style
The Ministry of Land and Resources, P.R. China delegation made its debut in South African Mining Indaba this year.
Almost no one was not attracted by unique Chinese booth: In bright red Chinese characters The Ministry of Land and Resources, P.R.C was very impressive shown above the booth with extremely rich Chinese characteristics; A pair of red Chinese knot hanging at both sides of the booth, a happy chubby China doll on Yang Liuqing’s New Year Painting warmly welcomed the visitors, conveying the message “Welcome to CHINA MINING Congress and Expo 2013”; On the display panels around, a picture of "China Geological Prospecting Strategic Plan" marked with 78 ready exploration areas was particularly eye-catching; And on the booth piles of information materials introducing the policies and projects of China`s mining, and CHINA MINING 2013 became the hot stuff for the visitors.
A badge with the building of Ministry of Land and Resources, a Chinese knot with profound meaning, and a piece of memory of free communication with Chinese colleagues, made the word "China" inadvertently walked into the heart of so many people in the international mining.
At 8:00 AM., leading the delegation, Wang Min attended the opening ceremony and received a warm welcome. At 8:30, after the opening ceremony, Wang Min immediately came to the booth of the Ministry of Land and Resources, P.R.C inside the exhibition hall, and greeted the exhibition staff. He said it was the first time for the Ministry of Land and Resources to make a formal delegation to African Mining Indaba. It was a trying trip hoping that through this platform, the government could guide and drive the domestic enterprises to "going out and bringing in", carry out effective international cooperation, and promote Chinese enterprises going out steadily.
Afterwards Wang Min and his entourage walked to exhibit area visiting CITIC Heavy Industries Co., LTD Luoyang, East China Mineral Exploration and Development Bureau, and Australia`s booths. He carefully inquired about exhibition and market development situation of enterprises in Africa and the world. When staff told him "Luoyang CITIC heavy mining machinery has 500 million Yuan sales markets in Africa ", " East China Mineral Exploration and Development Bureau has 121 overseas mining right, in Namibia alone 27 mining right, and also found very large reserves of about 2 billion tons of iron ore", he highly praised Chinese enterprises for entering into the Mining Indaba to promote themselves, and encouraged the exhibitors to make full use of the opportunity, show the cooperative sincerity and seize the opportunity to create a new land abroad.
At 10:30, Wang Min came to the conference room on the second floor without a stop. He made a brief talk with global exploration CEO and director of RIO.L, discussing and exchanging ideas about the cooperation of concealed porphyry copper deposit exploration in Inner-Mongolia involving the Ministry of Land and Resources, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, CHINALCO and RIO.L joint-venture the three parties.
45 minutes later, Wang Min stepped on the forum platform with the warm applause. On the subject of "Promote Sino-African Mining Cooperation and New Development", he gave an overall introduction to the Chinese mining investments, mineral exploration, mining production, commodity trade, etc. in 2012, a detailed interpretation of an overall good development trend of the China’s economy, and expounded the mining policy in China, and also passed the confidence that Chinese government was fully capable of realizing the sustainable development.
Wang said that as the world`s largest developing country, China`s economic development and resource environment contradictions are still outstanding. The Chinese government will promote the ecological civilization construction, adhere to the basic state policy of resource conservation and environmental protection, develop mining potential relying on domestic resources, and improve the mineral composite support capability. For this, the Chinese government will implement comprehensive prospecting breakthrough strategy, vigorously develop the green mining, strengthen the management and services of geology and mineral resources and continuously deepen mining foreign cooperation so as to promote the realization of scientific development of China`s economic and society.
"At present, with a slow growth the world economic as a whole goes into the transformation and the depth adjustment. The energy consumption of raw material in emerging economies has sustainable growth. It will provide strong support and broad space for the global mining development. Countries around the world should strengthen mining investment cooperation, properly handle some practical problems such as market admittance, policy transparency etc., and remove investment barriers. Develop mining commodity trade and jointly oppose trade protectionism. The countries with rich resources and huge market can completely realize mutual benefit and win-win in the long term stable cooperation. We should have confidence in the prospects for global mining!" Wang said passionately.
At 5:30 PM Wang Min stated the mining policy in China again at the Cocktail Reception held by the Ministry of Land and Resources. The reporter saw that thousands of delegates for dinner listened to him attentively. Then increasingly warm and harmonious atmosphere was filled in the reception hall. The delegates were talking with the Chinese delegation members, consulting, exchanging business cards, taking photos...
"China will continue to adhere to the reform and opening-up, strengthen geological prospecting, set up mining related policy, comprehensively improve the efficiency and level of the development of mineral resources in China and further promote the opening to the outside world and cooperation of geological and mineral resources field. Guide the domestic mining companies to overseas investment, and encourage foreign investment in mineral exploration and development in China." Wang solemnly promised in cocktail party winning warm applauses.
"Before the year of 2008, China`s mining economy was an important part of the global mining economy. Now it has become a main engine of global mining economy” said Jonathan Moore, Vice President of African Mining Indaba.
3. Africa’s mining welcome Chinese friends
One expert in South African Mining Indaba told the journalist that, in the recent 10-plus years, China’s demand to overseas resources had gradually changed from purchasing finished minerals to invest in and cooperate with the host country to prospect and explore mineral resources, with the aim to get share and profits and go towards upstream. In the fierce international mining competition, China economy has become one of the primary elements which westerners take into consideration when study the global economy trend. Therefore, China’s going-out policy and resource development trend and plan are all what the international mining investors want to know desperately, which is also the main reason why Chinese government officials and people engaged in China’s mining are so eye-catching in African Mining Indaba.
International mining focused on China, so Africa, as the host, whose mining is more highlighted.
On the afternoon of Feb. 5, Yan Guangsheng, director of China geological survey, development research center, and some of his colleagues had a conversation with staffs in Departments of Geological Survey, Environment and International Cooperation of Ministry of Mineral Resources in South Africa. South Africa expressed their strong desire of attracting investment and cooperating with China as soon as they met each other. South Africa wished China to “strengthen the evaluation study of South Africa’s geological science and the potential of key mineral resources; train talents in mining for South Africa; set up company jointly for the development and exploration of African mineral resources”. The two parties discussed the cooperation frame and reached preliminary agreements.
As it was the first time to attend South African Mining Indaba, China’s companies were not so many but they have strong interests in Africa. 57% delegates of African Mining Indaba were from Africa and there were 20 Africa mining forums in just 2 days. There were 20 countries like South Africa, Congo (gold), Zimbabwe, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia taking Africa Government Forum as an excellent mining promotion conference. Latest information of resources and investment policy were described detailed in the forum with aim to persuade investors to be engaged in mining development.
Of course, what was more attractive was the rich mineral resources in African continent. On the booth of Africa government, all kinds of geologic map, mineral deposits map and various bore specimens were showing the beautiful outlook of investing in Africa.
The journalist was informed that more and more foreign mining capital had flowed into Africa in the past 10 years. At present, Africa has become the district which is highly concerned by international mining capital and the fourth largest destination of oversea investment. The number of China’s investment projects in Africa accounts for 34% of the total oversea mining investment projects, the amount of investment accounts for 22%. A lot of China enterprises’ mining investment projects have made significant achievements in Africa, which have boosted the development of local employment and economy.
However, one expert told the journalist in the communication that although China and South Africa had more and more economic cooperation and trade in these years, they had not carried out large-scale cooperation in mining and energy. “Investment in Africa is definitely the mutual existence of high return and high risk”. Actually, Africa’s mining tax is quite high; infrastructure, labor quality and management are poor; political situation in some countries are not stable and policies always change or are ambiguous. Besides, international mining situation at present has stimulated the expansion of nationalism over resources. Some countries have narrowed their originally open door and added restriction to foreign investment, which forced foreign investors to step back.
How to share the big mining cake of Africa and avoid risk at the same time? The expert reminded China enterprises “Only make full preparations before stepping in can walk less wrong road”.
He stressed, the enterprises “going out” needs to avoid natural risk, political risk, economical risk, social risk, technology risk and financial risk when they begin oversea mining investment. First, the enterprises should prevent political risk. They should take comprehensive understanding about politics, economy, society stability, labor policy, sensitive areas of investment and restricted fields of invested country. Second, they should prevent law risk. They should do as the Romans do, act by the regulations and laws and prevent risks of fiscal and taxation policies, environment and safety. The experts suggested, as newcomers, China enterprises should keep close eyes on the policy change in Africa, try to train transnational management talents who are familiar with local humanity and social background, understand the international mining operation rules and strengthen localization.
"We really need to learn from American and European countries on the study of national policy, mining situation and the trend of economy development” Yan Guangsheng told the journalist that officials in foreign governments especially the top leaders in large mining company paid special attention to China’s policy to understand the trend of politics, economy, society development and potential market opportunities in them. Last year, Mr Yan attended an international conference and argued the development trend of Shale gas prospecting in China with top leaders in foreign companies. What surprised him was the leader took out the Hu`s report at 18th Party Congress as argument. We can see that the foreigners had made full preparation on investing in China. As old saying goes, know the enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles with no danger of defeat. There are many reasons why many China’s enterprises failed when going out. Except the reasons that the local policies and political situation always change, the other important reason is that China enterprises don’t know enough about the invested countries’ politics. China enterprises always go out according to feelings but cannot adapt themselves to changing circumstances. Success is always temporary. In the long term, they cannot go far and become influential.
At present, China enterprises have some risks in investing in Africa but Africa will not go far from China enterprises’ eyesight. As the Deputy Minister Wang Min said: “China and Africa enjoy a long-standing friendship. Sino-Africa strategic partnership has entered a new development stage. We should deepen Sino-Africa’s mining practical cooperation, jointly put the related agreements reached in Sino-Africa forum into practice and enlarge the scale of minerals trade and mining investment. Meanwhile, we should set up the cooperation mechanism and information exchange channel, have more technology cooperation and exchange, train management talents together and sincerely support Sino-Africa mining cooperation”.
4. What experience can we learn from African Mining Indaba?
To promote CHINA MINING is another reason for the Chinese delegation to attend African Mining Indaba. “African Mining Indaba and CHINA MINING, the two mining events which have profound impact on the development of the global mining industry, should strengthen their exchanges and cooperation. And I’m looking forward to meeting you again on the 2013 CM." Wang Min, the Deputy Minister of Ministry of Land and Resources, said at the event and issued the invitation to the participants of African Mining Indaba repeatedly.
Held firstly at the end of October, 1999, CHINA MINING’s history is a little shorter than African Mining Indaba. After 14 years of hard work and building-up, it has already entered into the ranks of the leading international mining conference with a brand by the aid of the soaring economy of China.
During the event, Lu Hong, deputy director-general of Tianjin Municipal Bureau of Land & Resources and Housing Administration and the director of CHINA MINING Congress & Expo Affairs Office, with the representatives of the CHINA MINING Organizing Committee, rushed about among the forums, the exhibition and the Organizing Committee of African Mining Indaba. Director Lu Hong had a close talk with Mr. Moore, the vice president of the Organizing Committee of African Mining Indaba to learn from the experience of holding the congress and expos and explore the prospects for the cooperation; The delegation explored the details of the organization for the analysis of the effect of the event, using a variety of methods to promote the CHINA MINING 2013 .
"How to run a successful CHINA MINING in the following years?”, marching on the way to the forum venue, the reporter interviewed Wang Min, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Land and Resources, PRC.
"You’ve participated in PDAC, African Mining Indaba and CHINA MINING, would you introduce what characteristics they have and is there any differences with one another? And what does CHINA MINING should learn from the other two mining conferences?"
According to Wang Min, PDAC and African Mining Indaba have more characteristics in common, as both of them are hosted by the commercial companies running in a market-oriented operation with their abundant information available for the enterprises required. By contrast, for us, we did not have the traditional demand since our country took planned economy policy in the early times. But during the gradual transform of carrying out the market economy of China, we should attract the foreign companies to come to us. Therefore, it is very critical that we should hold an event adapting to the requirements of the market economy and serving the enterprises well.
"As for the approaches to run a successful CHINA MINING，said Wang Min, “we are urgently required to enhance the function of the market-orientation and reduce the administrative interference of the government. In the past, CHINA MINING was usually open to the participants of the mining institutions at all levels of the Chinese government and various departments of the provinces, who were called together by the industry associations at all levels. While, the delegates and exhibitors of PDAC and African Mining Indaba are from the enterprises and convene spontaneously for their own benefits in attending the global mining events. This is the difference. I believe that the aim of holding CHINA MINING is also to set a stage for the enterprises. Therefore, whether we hold a successful the theme or not is determined by the interests of the enterprises’ participants. From this point, we still have a lot of things to learn.”
"Well, for selection of the theme and speakers invitations of the theme，what can we learn from each other?"
"I assume it is also an important aspect of organizing the event. The speeches are more concerned about the international macroeconomic trends in PDAC and African Mining Indaba, as the economic trends will influence the mining capital investment and the future of the development of the mining industry. To some extent, we could say that the development of mining industry is the "vanguard" of the economic development, while the latter is the “pusher” for promoting the prosperity of the former. Mining industry is the most front-end of the entire industrial chain whose concern about the future is the most urgent. We should grasp the future because if we cannot, the trends of the mining industry development we hold will deviates from the common understanding in the international industry community. So, a lot of people came here to listen to the economic trends and the future of the mining industry under it so as to determine the direction of their own investment.”, said Mr. Wang Min.
"How to strengthen the cooperation among these mining events?" asked the reporter. From this aspect, Wang Min said: “By attending the African Mining Indaba, the Ministry of Land and Resources,PRC mainly aims to explore the construction of the platforms for the cooperation among the events. We hope that we could join together to build up a large mining platform for achieving the mutual interfacing whose main purpose is to call the business together from all over the world. Participants attended to these mining events are individual investors in the past and lack of outstanding Chinese elements, so whenever we are “bringing in" or "going out", the role we played in the world is relatively insignificant. Now, we have a unified platform, the voice of the Chinese enterprises will be significantly enhanced. At the same time, everyone together can communicate and make a comparison with each other. Since the Sino-African energy cooperation is quite a lot, the communication and the coordination between China and Africa are necessary. The two parties should exchange their ideas to have the mutual understanding, establish the rules, credibility and consensus. And then they can cooperate and support with each other. In addition, we can even exchange information and lessons and experience to avoid detours. “
"We can learn from the experience from African Mining Indaba on philosophy of organizing, conference content and the keynote speaker invitations. “ Wang Min stressed. “In order to hold a successful CHINA MINING, it is the government’s role to set a global platform on which the enterprises show themselves in the international community. “
Lu Hong has a more microscopic and delicate feeling towards how to run a successful CHINA MINING. "There are so many things we should learn from the other, but we have to maintain our own characteristics as well. For example, when choosing the speakers, not only have we considered the speakers’ influence in the industry, but we should take the certain factors of the country, the regional balance and coverage into account; in views of the selection of theme, we are more concerned about the environmental protection, social responsibility, and technical aspects while the other leading events are more likely to focus on the financial and economic future. From now on, we could add more topics on this respect; for the venue layout, we could be simpler and more efficient, it is not necessary for us to pursue the luxury since we have invested more in this regard compared with African Mining Indaba.”
As we have the strong support of the Tianjin Municipal Government and the Ministry of Land and Resources, PRC, as well as the country`s overall opening-up policy, we are confident that we ‘ll run a better CHINA MINING whose platform will allow the enterprises to get more contact with the outside world and broaden their horizon and therefore promote China to the world. “ Lu Hong said to the reporter.
Confront the challenges, gain confidence, join hands to work together and win the future. Although the South African Mining Indaba 2013 had closed, the wonderful drama of the global mining industry is only just beginning. (Tian Xuelian, Li Jun) （translated by TLRHVC）
About CHINA MINING
Since first held in 1999, the scope and influence of CHINA MINING has grown rapidly year by year. As a global mining summit forum and exhibition, CHINA MINING Congress and Expo has become one of the world’s top mining events, and one of the world’s largest mining exploration, development and trading platforms, covering all aspects of the whole mining industry chain, including geological survey, exploration and development, mining rights trading, mining investment and financing, smelting and processing, mining techniques and equipment, mining services, etc. playing an active promotion role in creating exchange opportunities and enhancing mutual cooperation between domestic and foreign mining enterprises.
CHINA MINING Congress and Expo 2013 will be held at Meijiang Convention and Exhibition Center in Tianjin on November 2-5, 2013. We invite you to join the event and to celebrate the 15th anniversary of CHINA MINING with us. For more information about CHINA MINING 2013, please visit: www.chinaminingtj.org.