​The newly-formed West African Chamber of Mines (WACOM) and the Ghana Chamber of Mines have announced their support of WAMPEX, West Africa’s biggest mining and power industries expo. The exhibition provides a valuable networking platform for suppliers to showcase products and services directly to power and mining sector companies operating in West Africa and elsewhere. WAMPEX 2016 takes place from 1 to 3 June 2016 at the Accra International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana.

“WACOM is a recently-formed body that will be officially launched at the WAMPEX show,” says Ahmed Nantogmah, Director, External Relations and Communication at the Ghana Chamber of Mines. “This Chamber recognises the key role played by the WAMPEX event in the mining industry in West Africa, and it provides the ideal platform for the inauguration of the new Chamber.”

WACOM comprises Chief Executives from the Chambers of Mines in Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Burkina Faso. “The new Chamber’s participation in WAMPEX is an excellent opportunity to publicise and market it to all the key players in the world of mining operators and suppliers in the region,” adds Nantogmah.

Following the Ghana Chamber of Mines’ decision to reaffirm its support of the show this year, -, Nantogmah expects it will bring together even more key stakeholders and operators from all regions to discuss sustainable mining and power investment in today’s extremely challenging global environment.

“WAMPEX is also ideal to promote learning between countries with rich experience in exploiting mineral resources,” continues Nantogmah. “After each show, the Chamber’s relevance and visibility soars. WAMPEX provides a unique opportunity for stakeholders to identify and showcase sustainable models, and improve business efficiency and growth in the sector.”

Trading Challenges
Nantogmah says that the weak global economy, as well as struggling economies of many gold-importing countries like China is negatively affecting Ghana’s mining environment. Also, the country’s new Income Tax Act contains provisions which adversely impact the competitiveness of the mining industry. Rising mining sector regulators’ fees bring some unpredictability to licensing fee schedules and also affect mining companies’ long term operational planning, hiking the cost of doing business.

Ghana’s large scale mining concessionaires also suffer encroachment from unlicensed (illegal) nomadic miners. These activities rob mining companies and the country of sorely needed revenue and leave a legacy of environmental degradation to be restored by the taxpayers. It also undermines the government’s efforts to attract green field investment to the sector.

In spite of these challenges, Ghana provides multiple opportunities for mining capital. Besides gold, there are other lucrative mineral resources such as clay, iron ore and feldspar, largely under-exploited. Due to lack of local supply, the Minerals Commission’s procurement list has expanded to include several new items: bolts and nuts; crucibles; plastic sample bags; calico bags; bullion boxes; chain link fencing; wire netting; barbed wire; conveyor rollers; metal and PVC core trays; overalls and work clothes; haulage services and catering services.

“Slowly rising interest in gold and resources is fuelling a gradual turnaround in mining prospects, which is why WAMPEX is so important to the mining and power sectors,” concludes show organiser Christine Davidson, Vice President of dmg EMS Africa.