Mining and business : Can you introduce yourself and where you are from?
Mark Davis : I am Mark Davis, the executive in charge of operations and business in Africa, Australia, and Asia for MMG. MMG is a global copper and zinc producer. We differentiate ourselves at the top tier of the mining industry because we mine for progress.
M&B : Where are you based?
MD : We are headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and are listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. We currently have operations in Australia, the DRC and Peru.
M&B: Do you come to Katanga once every 3 months?
MD : Yes, as the executive in charge of all operations here in Africa and Australia, I travel a lot and spend a couple of weeks or months in the DRC.
M&B : What are your first impressions of this DRC mining week?
MD : I think it’s a very powerful event. The overriding theme for me is that everybody has to work together to make this a great industry because this industry has the capability to bring progress and development to the country. So, what I have witnessed here is unity and partnership and that’s important. The gathering of industries and broad stakeholders and particularly when you go beyond the conference and you look at the exhibitions then you see a world of innovation as well and you know, the mining industry needs to innovate to continue to create value for our people and for our communities.
M&B : Can you say some words about the meeting we had earlier with the chancellor of the president?
MD : Yes. It was very encouraging – my take on it was that the words of the Chancellor were very promising and reinforced the need to work together, and I think that’s a pretty effective way to achieve great outcomes. It’s not a divisive thing, nor is it a fight, it’s about bringing people together to align and agree and that message form the Chancellor was very strong.
From his Excellency the government of Lualaba, there was some great sharing about some of the works that’s happening in Lualaba. Particularly, one of the concerns that’s across the industry here is the presence of illegal miners and the security and safety issues it creates. There are some good actions underway in Lualaba around formalizing these little mining to create opportunity and I think that’s something that we need to do across the DRC and many countries in the world.
M&B: And in Peru, how are your operations going?
MD : Its very conceptual here but in our operations in Peru, we are already working with some communities around our mines there that have been participating in artisanal mining but now need to be displaced based on the commencement of large scale mining there and we are looking at how we can create small mining businesses there to be part of the development of the large mines and to make it formal and make it a secure source of income.
M&B : UGM just arrived in April, what is the work plan for the next 5 years?
MD : The timing of the UGM is largely around the new phase that we are entering here in the DRC and we’ve had a very successful six years of operating in the country. We’ve built great operational capability but we have a big decision coming up concerning the expansion of the plan and we need to own that decision, implement it and hope that when the right decision is made, we can expand. Therefore, we need someone to carry that right through the next sort of three years and the opportunity that we are looking at in the expansion is the creation of long-term futures for our people and Jenkins is a great leader, he is a people leader and he will be charting our path to make sure that we can create the future for people.
M&B: Thank you very much.