World news story

UK using mining heritage to secure sustainable development in Africa

DIT panel discussion at Africa's biggest mining conference, Mining Indaba, encourages a responsible approach to mining.

DIT Panel discussion at Mining Idaba Confrence

DIT Panel discussion at Mining Idaba Conference

On the 6 February 2019, visitors to the biggest mining conference in Africa, Mining Indaba, were invited to an industry dialogue between important figures in mining, agriculture, finance and government.

This panel discussion, hosted by the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) aimed to:

  • forge a holistic, responsible approach to mining
  • delivering mutual stakeholder value with particular focus on sustainable mining ecosystems which serve both business and communities

An example of a specific project in Guinea illustrated how this type of approach could foster wider, sustainable infrastructure development during the discussion.

Her Majesty’s Deputy Trade Commissioner for Africa, Martin Kent said:

The panel today reinforced the UK’s leading position as Africa’s responsible mining partner of choice. It was an incredibly rich discussion illustrating the breadth of British expertise and our commitment to delivering partnerships and genuine collaboration.

Pippa Howard, Flora and Fauna International said:

It was really encouraging to facilitate a conversation with socio-economic issues central in helping avoid conflict with land users, but also central in evolving sustainable agricultural development. The pragmatism and realism of the panel was refreshing, its vital projects are commercially viable. Projects that don’t work economically don’t work socially.

Panel members and guests

The discussion was facilitated by Pippa Howard, Director of Fauna and Flora International Extractives and Development Infrastructure Programme.

The panel was made up of:

  • Hon Minister for Mines and Geology in Guinea, Minister Abdoulaye Magassouba
  • British Ambassador to Guinea Catherine Inglehearn
  • Anglo African Minerals CEO James Lumley
  • Leader star Solutions CEO Hal Hemmerich
  • HCF International President and co-founder Guy De Selliers
  • Impact Agri CEO Jon White

The discussion was attended by a wide array of private sector businesses in the mining supply chain. The almost 200 guests included:

  • Hon Morie Manyeh, Minister of Mineral Resources Sierra Leone
  • Nigel Casey, British High Commissioner to South Africa
  • Professor Patrick Agbesinyale Ag Chief Director for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources Ghana

UK mining expertise

The UK has a 150 year mining heritage, a strong supply chain supporting the mining lifecycle and is known globally as a leading source of mining finance with London the prime location for raising capital.

The UK is also home to a large number of professional service providers. They deliver a wide variety of expertise to mine owners, governments, investors and the world’s most well-renowned institutions supporting the development and implementation of international standards.

British companies have a world-class capability in assessing the social and environmental impacts of mining through stakeholder analysis. This work informs strategies that create long-term economic prosperity while protecting biodiversity, ecosystems and the environment.

Along with a strong policy and governance framework, clear human rights policies are an essential requirement of investors and capital markets throughout the mining lifecycle. British corporate governance experts can help manage stakeholder relations and provide effective communication of what a mine will deliver at the local, regional and national level.

Kate Rudd, Director Energy and Mining for DIT Africa said:

Responsible mining is the only option for long term success and the mitigation of long term risks. Whilst there may be a time and cost implication at the outset, the return on investment is unquestionable. I believe the UK is best placed to drive this conversation and convene responsible actors who reflect our values making the UK is the responsible partner of choice in Africa.

DIT offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British diplomatic missions around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.

Further information


Political and Communications Team, Osu Link, Off Gamel, Abdul Nasser Avenue

Tel: (0302) 213 200

Fax: (0302) 7010655

Web: Ghana news on GOV.UK

Published 13 February 2019