A section of Canadian stakeholders, led in part by the Mining Suppliers Trade Association (MSTA), Canada’s trade association of mining equipment and service providers, is making moves to help West Africa develop its mining industry.
Founded in 1981 as the Canadian Association of Mining Equipment and Services for Export (CAMESE), the MSTA (Canada) connects mining supply and services companies to business opportunities across Canada, and around the world.
Top Financial experts such as Export Development Canada (EDC), Canada’s export credit agency and financial services group, Elevate Export Finance Corp., recently held a high-profile meeting with West African and Canadian Mining Suppliers.
MSTA, along with the industry stakeholders, discussed best practices for export and business development during their first Export Readiness Seminar, which was held in Montreal, Canada.
The event forms part of MSTA CANADA’s Cross Country Export Readiness Series, which saw the organisation partner with other groups and companies such as 48Nord, Global Affairs Canada, SERDEX & ExportQuebec.
Under the theme, ‘Opportunities in West Africa’, the affair included thought leaders in the fields of shipping logistics, managing and managing risks in international markets.
“Our focus on West Africa will include speakers from senior management of IAMGOLD and SEMAFO that will speak to their projects in the area. We also welcome a delegation of companies from West Africa looking for business opportunities and partnerships for the region,” MSTA said in a statement.
SEMAFO is a Canada-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa, while IAMGOLD is a Canadian gold producer headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.
Speaking at the event, Tidiane Barry, Director of the IAMGOLD Corporation, explained their success working with local and Canadian Mining Suppliers during their Cross-country Export Readiness Seminar.
Meanwhile, Martin Plante, Director of security company, GardaWorld discussed risk management and best practices on how to safely export products to international markets. His sentiments come at a time when West Africa is currently grappling with illegal mining activities that threaten to derail the sector’s growth.
These developments come at a time when Ghana, also a West African nation, is now Africa’s top gold producer, according to a recent report from the World Bank.
Ghana exported 158 tonnes of gold in 2018, an increase of about 15% from the previous year. Investors, exploration companies and regional governments are now keen to capitalize on such trends. MSTA and its affiliates hope to direct these parties towards safe, sustainable best practices. With this in mind, the group believes that West Africa has a lot to gain from implementing tired and tested industry policies.