Addis Ababa, 18 June 2014 (ECA) - Experts working in the area of African geology and mineral information Systems will assemble in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from July 8-10. The meeting will take place amidst a growing consensus among experts that there is a lack of geological map coverage at appropriate scales across many African countries. In addition, there is a generally limited capacity currently available to fill these gaps through for example, field mapping, geophysical data acquisition and processing, and spatial data management among others.
According to the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC), the lack of minerals resource potential information is cited as putting African countries at a disadvantage when developing policies as well as negotiating contracts under the relevant legislation, and the lack of data also reduces the levels of investment in minerals exploration and mining activities including related upstream and downstream economic activities. Furthermore minerals are essential for development not only in terms of beneficiation, the generation of foreign currency or foreign direct investment but also to provide building and construction materials in support of infrastructure investments, as inputs for manufacturing, and for agriculture e.g. agro-minerals and as inputs to fertiliser production. In addition, there are gems and semi-precious stone that also provide opportunities for income supplements, livelihoods, new industries and the creation of skilled labour.
The meeting will discuss mineral resource classifications, the role of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in leveraging resources for filling geology and minerals information gaps and the role of geology and minerals information in areas raised by the AMV, such as defining mineral exploration blocks for auction as well as leasing or tenure.
Beyond these issues, there is a need to define the principles and practices that inform the management of geology and minerals information and international interventions supporting the collection, management and dissemination of these data.
Not to editors: In 2009, African heads of state adopted the African Mining Vision (AMV) which identified the level and quality of resource potential data as a critical constraint and factor for the success of realising the vision. In December 2011 the Action Plan for Implementing the AMV was adopted by the Second African Union Conference of Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development. The Plan set out actions that would build a sustainable future for Africa’s extractive industry. This included actions in the area of geological and mining information systems with the goal of developing a comprehensive knowledge of Africa’s mineral endowment.
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