MINEX Eurasia Mining Investment Conference was held in London on 13 November 2017
Organised for the sixth time in London, MINEX Eurasia Conference offered a diversified platform where mining companies and international experts address the questions concerning risks, rewards and opportunities arising in Mining Industry across the countries of the Eurasian region.
The conference was organised in partnership with the Mining & Infrastructure team of the Department for International Trade and sponsored by Norton Rose Fulbright LLP and SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd. Over 30 speakers and panellists provided a snapshot on key mining developments and introduced exciting projects evolving across the Eurasian Region.
Companies operating in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mongolia, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan took part in the event. General Managers, Operational Directors, Finance Directors and Procurement leads from gold, coal, copper and other metal and mineral mines and processing plants attended the conference and organised alongside one-on-one meetings.
According to the participants’ opinion, the conference was very successful and gave industry professionals a rare chance to discuss potential trade, cooperation and investment opportunities evolving across 11 countries of Eurasia.
Ulmas Musaliev, Principal Banker, Natural Resources Team, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development talked about the Bank’s role in the development of mining projects in the Balkans and Central Asia. According to Mr. Musaliev the Bank’s main role is to help the countries where mining plays important part in economy or have high mining potential. The Bank helps with attract new investments and leverage risks. In his speech, Mr. Musaliev talked about the use of alternative financing options including EPCM contract, streaming deal and corporate equity issuance.
Maximilian Court, Senior Commodity Analyst, S&P Global Market Intelligence talked about the key mining industry themes to look for in 2018. In his opinion, miners have to focus on sustaining capital and going further into non-traditional regions.
Eily Ong, Global Metals & Mining Industry Analyst, Bloomberg Intelligence gave an overview on the trends in the Global metal markets. She mentioned that while China has been metal’s driving force, miners currently face uncertainty over Chinese supply. Also in her opinion, the market can expect metals rising demand driven by new tech.
Ksenia von Gernet, Senior Consultant, CRU analysed the latest metals demand coming from New Energy Vehicles and infrastructure segments. She pointed out key takeaways for nickel, lithium, cobalt, copper and aluminium prices.
BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT – RUSSIA PANEL moderated by Rod Cave, Regional Director, Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, CRU was dedicated to Gold, Silver and PGM investment projects in Russia.
Graham Hill, President & CEO, Silver Bear Resources Plc talked about finalising the completion of Mangazeisky Silver Project in Yakutia. He said that the company is taking phased development approach, according to which commercial production will start in 2018, in 2018-2021 open pit mining will be in progress at Vertikalny deposit, in 2021-2024 open pit mining will be going at M North deposit and in 2024 Vertikalny Underground mining phase will begin.
Alexander Yakubchuk, Director of Exploration, Orsu Metals Corporation presented the Sergeevskoe Gold Project in Transbaikalia. On 6 November 2017 Orsu announced consolidation of 90% of Sergeevskoe Gold Project via acquisition of an additional 60% of Sibzoloto. The company plans to finalise all initial metallurgy tests in December 2017 and to make decision on further activities in Q1 2018.
Christian Schaffalitzky, Executive Chairman, Eurasia Mining PLC spoke about developing Platinum and PGM assets in Russia. His focus was on three key company’s projects: West Kylim, Monchetundra and Semenovsky.
THE CENTRAL ASIA MINING PANEL moderated by Simon Cox, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP focused on Mining in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Simon opened the session with the update on draft Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Subsoil and Subsoil Use” expected to come into force on 1 January 2018. The Code is now going through the last stages of legislative approval and expected to be signed in Q1 2018. It will be effective 6 months after official publication. After the Code will come into force, there will be a transition period with delayed effectiveness of some provisions. Full implementation is planned to occur in January 2021. Existing contracts and licences will be grandfathered.
The Kazakhstan Business spotlight featured presentation by Nick Clarke, Executive Chairman, Central Asia Metals, who spoke about the importance of creating a new diversified Base Metals producer in the region. He spoked about the development of two projects in Kazakhstan: Kounrad and Shuak. He also presented on Central Asia Metals’ recent acquisition of Sasa mine in Macedonia – the underground zinc-lead mine with resources to support 20 year mine life, low cash cost and brownfields exploration potential.
Sam Bose, CEO, IntelliSense.io talked about Kazakhstan’s mining industry technological needs. In his opinion Kazakhstan need to speed implementation of digital innovation and Industry 4.0 technologies e.g. “smart mine”, innovative methods of increasing productivity, low CAPEX solutions. He also addressed the shortage of highly qualified personnel.
H.E. Alisher Shaykhov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, presented the Government’s initiatives to stimulate Economic Growth and attract Foreign investment in Uzbekistan’s mining and metals sector.
Avazbek Daminov, Head of Foreign Investment Department, State Committee of Republic of Uzbekistan on Geology and Mineral Resources provided information on adopted reforms and privileges offered to international investors in the mining sector. He also presented new cooper and gold projects offered for the development by the international investors and J/Vs under the recent Uzbekistan’s Presidential decree.
The Tajikistan Business spotlight featured presentation by Zokir Hayoev, Investments Manager, Talco Management Ltd., who gave a brief introduction to the mining in Tajikistan and presented key projects developed by Talco – the country’s largest aluminium producer. He also spoke about the company’s approach to Hydropower & Clean Energy and about production of metals other than their main product – aluminium.
MINING FINANCE AND INVESTMENT ROUND-UP PANEL moderated by Phil Newall, Managing Director, Wardell Armstrong International Ltd, offered an outlook on mining finance and investments in Eurasia. The panel discussion included contributions from Vomic Nur Shah, Head – Europe, CIS, Middle East, Asia, UK Export Finance; Ayuna Nechaeva, Head of Russia, CIS & Mongolia, Primary Markets, London Stock Exchange; Rama Ayman, CEO, MMG Capital; Louis Skyner, Advisor, Lydus Partners; Nilesh Patel, Vice President, Mining M&A, Hannam & Partners and Sergey Donskoy, Senior analyst, Director, Societe Generale CIB. The discussion was very intense and raised important issues.
The panellists answered the flowing questions:
- Do the international markets properly understand the mining industry in Eurasia?
- Market cycle, where are we?
- What are the major success stories in the region?
- Why is exploration in Eurasia lagging behind global activity?
- What are the main factors deterring investment in the region?
- Can Uzbekistan become an attractive mining investment destination?
- Corporate governance, is this an issue in the region?
- Currency worries?
Ayuna Nechaeva commented on investment trends and recent successful listings of Russia’s major mining and metals companies – Polyus Gold and EN+in in London.
Louis Skyner commented on the legal impediments and incentives for FDI in Eurasia and suggested potential improvements which the sovereign nations should introduce to increase their attractiveness.
Vomic Nur Shah talked about the UK Export Finance activities in the Eurasian mining and metals sectors and addressed some of the obstacles which currently hinder trade finance and investment deals.
Rama Ayman commented on significant opportunities for M&A in Eurasian mining and metals sector.
Nilesh Patel talked about the Hannam’s Project Financing experience and investment challenges.
THE BALKANS MINING PANEL moderated by Iain Duncan, Partner, Simmons & Simmons focused on the Balkans mining.
Zlatan Milosevic, Director of Trade, British Embassy Belgrade spoke about minerals and coal opportunities in Serbia.
He was followed by Mark Fellows, Director, Skarn Associates Limited, who presented the case study of the potential OPEX growth in mining and metals industry in Serbia over the period to 2025.
The Balkans Business spotlight featured presentations of two major companies operating in the region.
Peter Robinson, Chief Advisor for Mining Operations, Metalfer talked about Metalfer Group’s steel production, trading, mining and energy. In the last 4 years Metalfer Mining invested in mining and geological exploration works and opening of iron, lead, zinc, copper and building stone mines in Serbia and Montenegro. In Mr. Robinson’s opinion sustainability is a key to the modern mining. He said that any mining company should plan closure of the project and restoration of the site before planning excavation.
Dominic Roberts, Operations Director, Mineco Limited took part in the panel discussion on operating base metal mines in Serbia.
THE DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE PANEL was moderated by Ros Lund, Specialist Mining & Infrastructure. During this panel trade representatives of the British Embassies gave an overview of the mining sectors in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Ukraine. The panel featured presentations by Cathy Cottrell, First Secretary Energy Policy and Head of Commercial Section, British Embassy Kyiv; Rena Zeynalova, Commercial Officer, British Embassy Baku; Tim Buisseret, Head of Trade and Investment, British Embassy Sofia and Emir Sabic, Senior Trade Development Advisor, British Embassy Sarajevo.
MINING OPTIMISATION PANEL moderated by Martin Pittuck, Corporate Consultant (Mining Geology), SRK Consulting (UK) Limited focused on mining optimisation, innovative solutions and technologies.
Jane Shaw, Principal Consultant – Hydrogeologist, ERM spoke about a catchment approach to water risk management and stewardship.
Dr. Chris Broadbent, Research Director, Wardell Armstrong International presented on Europe’s contribution to Lithium Production and The FAME Project.
Donald Bray, Founder of Chalkstone Ltd (UK) talked about digital transformation and community risks in mining.
The session was concluded by Dmitry Sudas, Senior Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the UK, with an overview on resource base, logistics and mining technologies in the Republic of Belarus. The main focus of Mr. Sudas’s presentation was on innovation by Belaz, the country’s biggest automotive producer. The company has recently launched production of the world’s largest driverless dump track that is being effectively used in mining logistics and transportation leading to process optimisation and efficiency.
The conference concluded with the networking drinks sponsored by Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.
MINEX Eurasia 2017 conference materials will be published on 1 December 2017 on www.minexeurasia.com/2017
About MINEX Forum
MINEX Forum TM Eurasian mining trade and investment events platform was established in 2005 by Advantix Ltd. Currently MINEX Forum – www.minexforum.com – has over 30,000 followers globally. MINEX Forum holds mining conferences, seminars, exhibitions, road-shows and investor meetings in the UK, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, China and the Continental Europe. MINEX Forum works closely with the National Governments and key industry players and frequently offers its platform for discussing changes in the national mining policies, highlighting investment opportunities and stimulating the exchange of best mining practices and technologies.by