The Zambian Association of Manufacturers plans to showcase opportunities for local manufacturers in the mining sector May 5 and May 6 at at the upcoming Copperbelt Mining Trade Expo & Conference (CBM-TEC) in Kitwe.
Research in 2014 by the Chamber of Mines and the International Council of Mining and Metals showed that six mining companies were buying up to $1.7-billion worth of manufactured imports annually.
“This is not including capital expenditure,” said Maybin Nsupila, CEO of the Zambian Association of Manufacturers, in a prepared statement. “(It) is recurrent expenditure of $1.7-billion.”
Of the $1.7 billion, about $1-billion was sourced locally but imported, and $600-million was imported directly by the mining companies, Nsupila said in the statement. “And only $100-million dollars is coming from here.”
This presents a huge opportunity for local producers but it also shows the potential for mining companies to contribute to more sustainable job creation, Nsupila said.
Nsupila plans to host a workshop for Zambian suppliers and mining purchasing managers at the Copperbelt Mining Trade Expo.
At the workshop, Nsupila said the association will show what the government is doing to try and improve access for local manufacturers into the mining supply chain and increase the volumes of locally manufactured goods. It will highlight some Zambian success stories.
More than 1500 visitors, 100 exhibitors and 200 conference delegates are expected.
“We do have companies that are producing very good products and we can arrange certification, but they don’t have access,” Nsupila said. “We are working towards bridging the information gap between the local manufacturers and the supply chain of the mining companies. There is also the category of companies whose products are not quite there yet and we need to do a little more to help them get there. For example, a company that is producing good products but doesn’t have the requisite quality certification from a recognised authority.”
To this end, the Zambian Association of Manufacturers plans to launch a new website at the event — Zamb2b.com — to bridge the information gap.
Sponsors, supporters and exhibitors at the event will include Sandvik Mining, a Sweden-based company that sells drilling and mining equipment; South Africa-based Barloworld Equipment and ZCCM-IH, an investment holdings company that took over after the Zambia government-owned Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines privatized in 2000. Also expected to be there are U.S.-based Schlumberger Airlift (Schlumberger Limited is the world’s largest oilfield services company); South Africa-based construction, engineering and mining contractor Murray & Roberts; France-based Manitou Group; Swedish industrial company Atlas Copco; and South Africa-based Tri- Pump Engineering Ltd.