The fourth Asmara Mining Conference is scheduled to be held October 1-5, 2013. The Eritrean Ministry of Energy and Mines sponsors the annual event in cooperation with ENAMCO, Eritrea’s national mining corporation.
Last year’s event is said to have attracted around 350 participants, from Eritrean government officials, envoys of various nations, investors, mining experts, diplomats, to mining companies operating in Eritrea.
Eritrea hosts a variety of mineral deposits including Volcanogenic Massive Sulphid (VMS) and Gold Deposits in Neoproterozoic terrains of the Arabian-Nubian Shield, together with younger Potash Deposits in the Danakil Depression.
The first modern mine Bisha, has been successfully producing gold for two years now and is poised to begin copper production. A second mine at Koka (Gold) is under construction and a Bankable Feasibility Study has been just completed at a third Project, the Amara VMS-Gold deposit. A Feasibility Study is underway on the world class Colluli Potash Deposit.
Africa’s nascent potash industry, often enjoying low costs and shallow deposits while standing to benefit from fast growth in local demand, expects to withstand an expected drop in the crop nutrient’s prices better than emerging rivals.
The collapse of one of two global potash cartels beginning of this month is expected to take about 25% off prices, prompting questions over the future of projects such as BHP Billiton’s $14-billion Jansen and the K+S Legacy mine – both in Canada. Shares of small explorers and miners have been battered and financing, already tough, has become tougher.
But companies exploring Africa’s emerging potash regions – the Republic of Congo to the west and Ethiopia and Eritrea to the east – say a price drop could benefit those with lower costs and high ore grades, if it means output cuts in established mining regions.
Lower prices could also increase demand for potash in emerging markets and notably in Africa, where food consumption patterns are changing as population growth and increased urbanization alter diets and boost demand for grain a Reuters report stated this month.
Eritrea perceives the country’s mineral resources to be the patrimony of the whole nation, and that the mining sector’s sustainable development on the basis of integration with the national economy and the circumventing of its finite nature is the cherished goal.