By Meron Abraha
The technical sessions of the Asmara Mining Conference 2012, dubbed as the Asmara Geo-Congress, which opened at the Asmara Palace Hotel on Tuesday concluded today October 3, 2012.
The technical sessions included keynote presentations and updates on activities by the different exploration and mining companies that are currently active in the region and from the Ministry of Energy and Mines of the countries in the region.
During the opening session, the Minister of Energy and Mines, Mr. Ahmed Hajji Ali, noted that the mineral resources are the patrimony of the whole nation and that the sector’s sustainable development based on integration with the national economy and the circumventing of its finite nature was the cherished goal of the government.
“Eritrea’s national development strategy as regards the sector is aimed at encouraging diversified investments that ensure optimum exploration, extraction, processing and marketing of the mineral deposits vis-à-vis putting greater emphasis on the socio-economic and environmental impact of the industry,” he pointed out.
Also during the opening session, various delegations including mines authorities from Saudi Arabia, Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen shared their respective countries’ experiences with the conference participants.
Senior government and PFDJ officials, diplomats and invited guest were present during the opening session, which also featured an exhibition by the mining companies operating in Eritrea and the concerned service organizations.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines of Eritrea organized the conference in an attempt to promote sustainable exploration and mining activities in the country and the Arabian-Nubian Shield region, where Eritrea is also located.
The Asmara Mining Conference therefore discussed the geological structures of the Arabian-Nubian Shield, formation of mine deposits and prospects of mineralization and other mines related topics.
The conference had also as its objective the bringing together of mineral explorers, academicians, mining experts, investors, service providers and regulators, to share experiences and to discuss on the sustainable development of the minerals sector in Eritrea. As such, the event will provide a good opportunity for the participants to gather valuable information on recent views on the evolution of the geology of the region; new techniques and approaches in exploration and mining for metallic and nonmetallic minerals; and the development of new trends in regulatory regimes.
The conference is also intended to create awareness on the social, environmental and financial challenges associated with exploration and mining activities; as well as to promote the mineral resources of the Shield and enhance regional cooperation and coordination.
This year’s Mining Conference will also include a one day of property visits (the Asmara Project including Dibarwa, Adi Nefas and Embaderho) and a two-day excursion to Massawa and the Dissie Island, including a trip on the historic steam train.
Reports from the organizing committee indicated that more than 350 participants attended the Asmara Geo-Congress 2012.