2020 Speakers

Ntsiki Adonisi-Kgame, Director, ENSafrica

Ntsiki Adonisi-Kgame is an executive in ENSafrica’s natural resources and environment department. She specialises in all aspects of natural resources and environmental law. She is an admitted attorney, notary public and conveyancer of the High Court of South Africa. She has a holistic perspective on mining matters due to her former position as general counsel for a leading mining group, where she was responsible for the group’s entire legal function. She acts for a wide range of mining companies in all mineral commodity sectors, including the base and precious metals, coal, rare earths, sand and diamonds sectors. Ntsiki’s experience covers a broad range of areas, including mergers and acquisitions; conducting mining due diligences; execution and registration of mining titles; advising on the integrity, security of tenure and variation of mining titles; and structuring, drafting, negotiating and reviewing various types of agreements, from project inception to execution. She has experience in disputes in the mining sector, including judicial review of administrative decisions. She also advises on aspects of mineral royalties, environmental aspects of mining law and stakeholders in the mining sector. Ntsiki’s experience further includes all aspects of regulatory work in the mining industry, for listed and unlisted senior, mid-tier and junior companies. Ntsiki has authored and co-authored a number of topical mining law articles in various publications.

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Bontle Aphane, Chief Executive Officer, Arnot Opco

Bontle holds a B. Eng (Hons) Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pretoria and is currently doing a programme in Executive Leadership at the Harvard Business School. Bontle was an Exxaro bursar who worked through the ranks at Exxaro in the engineering discipline and later got retrenched at Arnot Mine. She is the co-founder and CEO of Arnot Opco, which is an employee-led coal mining company that successfully took over Arnot Mine to restart operations.


George Bennett, Chief Executive Officer, Rainbow Rare Earths

With over 25 years’ experience in mining, finance and management, George has led a number of mining and energy companies, including Shanta Gold Ltd (which he successfully listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2005), OreCorp Ltd, Argentum (Pty) Energy, and most recently Karo Power (Pvt) Ltd. In 2006, George established MDM Engineering Ltd, which he successfully listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2008. MDM Engineering Ltd is a mining engineering company building mineral process plants and mining infrastructure throughout Africa. In 2014, George was instrumental in selling the business to Foster Wheeler Limited for US$120 million. In addition, George has been a partner and director with a number of leading financial, broking and advisory businesses including Fergusson Bros, Simpson Mckie, and HSBC Securities Africa (Pty) Ltd.

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Sean Browne, Executive Director, Acrux Resources

Sean Browne is an Executive Director at Acrux Resources with 19 years’ experience in investment banking, commodity derivative sales, structuring and trading, FX and rates trading, debt capital markets, structured mining finance and deal origination. Sean has worked at Deutsche Bank, Standard Bank of South Africa and Standard Chartered Bank. He holds a BA in Law and English and a Postgraduate Diploma in Finance, Banking and Investment Management.

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James Campbell, Managing Director, Botswana Diamonds

James Campbell has spent over 30 years in the diamond industry in a variety of leadership roles both in major and junior companies.  He is currently MD of Botswana Diamonds and also a Non-Executive Director of Shefa Gems. Previously he held leadership roles at Rockwell Diamonds, Stellar Diamonds, Lucara Diamond, African Diamonds, West African Diamonds and De Beers where he spent over 20 years with notable appointments including GM Exploration and Nicky Oppenheimer's Personal Assistant. James is also Chairman of the leadership development NPO Common Purpose SA. James holds a degree in Mining & Exploration Geology from the Royal School of Mines (Imperial College, London) and a MBA with distinction from Durham University. James is a Fellow of the IOM3, SAIMM and IODSA.  He is also a C.Eng (UK), C.Sci (UK) and Pr.Sci.Nat.  

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Steven Curtis, Chief Executive Officer, Caledonia Mining

Steven Curtis is a Chartered Accountant with over 35 years of experience and has held a number of senior financial positions in the manufacturing industry.  Before joining Caledonia in April 2006, he was Director Finance and Supply Chain for Avery Dennison SA and, prior to this, Financial Director and then Managing Director of Jackstadt GmbH South African operation. Steven is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and graduated from the University of Cape Town. Steven was appointed Vice-President Finance and Chief Financial Officer in April 2006 and served in the position until December 2014 when he was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer.


Morné du Plessis, Chief Executive Officer, Minergy

Morné du Plessis is a chartered accountant with an MBA from Heriott Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. He has extensive experience in the mining industry having been Chief Financial Officer of several groups, including contract mining and beneficiation service provider Genet SA, junior coal miner Umcebo Mining Group and Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed junior coal miner Wescoal Holdings. Morné was appointed to the Board of Directors of Minergy in January 2017 and as its Chief Financial Officer in February 2017. On 1 August 2018 Morné became Chief Executive Officer of Minergy, a coal mining and trading company committed to becoming the supplier of choice to industrial customers and power utilities across southern Africa, with a mission to leverage the significant product and logistics cost advantage over other producers supplying the target market to secure short and longer-term coal sales.


Sandra du Toit, Partner & Lead for M&A Advisory, Africa, EY

After lecturing tax law and company law, Sandra qualified as an attorney, focusing on mergers and acquisitions. In the boutique firms in which she practiced, she advised clients across the full spectrum of transaction requirements, including due diligence, drafting and negotiating agreements, preparing and defending regulatory applications and managing post-implementation issues. She transitioned from law into Corporate Finance at Standard Bank, becoming the Head: Mining & Metals, and focusing on complex transactions incorporating multiple investment banking products, including advisory, equity capital markets, debt capital markets and lending. Sandra joined EY in 2020 as a Partner and the Lead for M&A Advisory in Africa, where she advises clients in a range of industries on transaction.


Rosemary Falcon, Retired SARChI Chair of Clean Coal Technology Research Group, Wits University; Director, Fossil Fuel Foundation

Professor Rosemary Falcon recently retired as DST NRF SARChI Chair of Clean Coal Technology and is now Professor Emeritus at Wits in the Engineering Faculty. 

She has been involved in coal for over 40 years, in corporate, consulting, academic and research positions.  She graduated with a PhD from Wits followed by advanced training in coal science and technology for trade and utilisation at the Berbau Forschung in Germany and the National Coal Board in the UK.  She established a coal research group in Wits in the late 1970s followed by her own consulting and research company where she working with industry for the following 20 years.

After a brief spell as Programme Manager at the CSIR (Enertek) and three years in the Eskom Research Facility in Rosherville, she joined Wits once again in the late 1990s.  From that time she has  led fundamental and applied coal research in the Faculty of Engineering, supervised over 80 doctoral and Masters students and taught coal science and technology to over 2 000 industrial personnel and postgraduate students for application in a broad spectrum of industries.  

She has received a number of national and international awards, has written over 80 publications, co-authored two books, contributed to a number of other books and produced more than 2000 technical reports on applied industrial investigations, research and development.  

She attended meetings in the UN-ECE Coal Working Groups in Geneva as the South African technical representative for several years, was Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage of South Africa for a period and is currently Director of the Fossil Fuel Foundation of SA.  She now consults to industry, is an expert witness in various coal-related legal matters and is promoting clean coal technologies and policies specifically applicable to Southern African coals and conditions.


Pierre Fourie, Head: Strategy and Planning, Namakwa Diamonds

Pierre Fourie has an extensive career of over 30 years as a Mining Engineer and Chief Executive Officer in the areas of mining, information technology and corporate development.  His specific skills include business development; business optimisation and strategy; people management and development; mineral economics; mine optimisation, construction and operation; programming; IT infrastructure; resource/reserve estimation and financial modelling.  Pierre worked for Anglo American as Mining Engineer and then started an engineering consulting company which he expanded from Johannesburg, South Africa to London, UK, Perth, Australia, Vancouver, Canada and Santiago, Chile.  After selling his consulting company, he acted as CEO of engineering firm DRA Americas and then Head of Mining for Namakwa Diamonds.  In his role as CEO he managed a reverse takeover and subsequent London listing of GS Technologies Ltd, an information and telecommunication infrastructure company.  Pierre is currently the Head of Strategy and Planning for Namakwa Diamonds. In addition to his career experience, Pierre holds BEng(mining) and BCompt degrees.  Pierre is a member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM).


Dr Abdulrazaq Garba, Director General, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency

Dr Abdulrazaq Garba is the Director General of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency. With a career spanning more than 30 years in the industry and specialising in mineral exploration and assessment, he has made contributions to efforts leading to a number of discoveries. He currently leads the ongoing National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP), which is an effort of the Government of Nigeria to rapidly derisk the mining space along some identified metallogenic belts. He has been actively involved in geological activities that have evolved into key publications and projects, such as the Geological Map of Nigeria, National Geochemical Mapping Technical Assistance Project. Dr Garba is a member of several societies and also a Fellow of the Geological Society of London and the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society.

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Tim George, Chief Executive Officer, Pensana Metals

Tim leverages over 30 years of experience in the mining and engineering sectors, with a broad range of experience in mining, construction, engineering and infrastructure project development throughout sub‐Saharan Africa. He holds an Honours degree in Minerals Engineering from Leeds University and spent over a decade in production management at several Anglo-American operations in Africa followed by directorships of several listed junior exploration entities. He has been involved in the plant design and feasibility studies of various base and precious metal projects of which the Pensana rare earths project in Angola is the latest.

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Mark Gilbert, Chief Executive Officer, Nupen Staude de Vries Inc

Mark is an economist and experienced C-suite executive, having been Head of Equity Markets for Macquarie Bank Europe, Middle East and Africa before being appointed as the Deputy CEO of the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc. Mark is currently the CEO of mining-focused law firm Nupen Staude de Vries Inc. Mark drove the acquisition and establishment of operations at the Middelvlei gold mine near Randfontein in the Witwatersrand Gold Field. He is a serial entrepreneur who believes that we are witnessing a significant secular shift in global capital allocation towards real assets that provides a unique investment opportunity for South Africa and its mining industry in particular.

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Alistair Hodgkinson, Executive Vice President Africa Projects, DRA Global

Alistair Hodgkinson is the Senior Vice President for the African region. Prior to joining DRA in 2007, Alistair was a Project Manager for Impala Platinum. Alistair has over 21 years’ industry experience and extensive knowledge of operational, project and contracts management, mining and process design, procurement and construction as well as the business and financial aspects of the industry. Alistair completed his B.Sc. Eng (Mechanical) at the University of the Witwatersrand, holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town and is a registered professional engineer. In his current role, Alistair oversees the successful implementation and delivery of projects from team set-up to client handover on all projects in the African region. Within Alistair’s portfolio is the management of DRA’s business development; ensuring DRA’s future growth and sustainability in various sectors and markets.

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Sam Hosack, Managing Director, Prospect Resources

Mr Hosack is a third-generation Zimbabwean with 18 years’ experience in mining and project development spanning numerous jurisdictions such as North and Southern Africa, Europe, Australia and Central America. For the past 12 years he was employed by First Quantum Minerals Ltd, primarily in their Projects team, where he most recently project managed the building of a port (coal offloading and copper loading), a 120km 230kV transmission line and a 300MW coal-fired power station for the Minera Panama Project in Panama. He holds a Bachelors Engineering Degree (Hons) from Essex University in UK, a MBA from Ashcroft Business School (UK) and respective professional registrations.

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R. Michael Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Platinum Group Metals

R. Michael Jones brings over 25 years of experience as a professional geological engineer and has been involved with the raising of over $1 billion for exploration, mining development and production. In addition to co-founding Platinum Group Metals Ltd., Michael was a founder of Glimmer Resources Inc. and was responsible for the discovery of the Glimmer Gold mine, now Blackfox, in Ontario. During a six-year tenure as President of Cathedral Gold Corp., Mr. Jones ran a producing gold mining company and was involved in the review of a feasibility study and financing for the $1 billion Diavik Mine project during two years as Vice President with Aber Resources. Michael was a co-founder and director of West Timmins Mining that was purchased by producing company Lake Shore Gold Corp. in 2009 and was a co-founder and former director until 2012 of MAG Silver Corp. He is a Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of West Kirkland Mining Inc. and a director of Nextraction Energy Corp. Michael served on the Securities Policy Advisory Committee of the British Columbia Securities Commission for six years and holds a B.A.Sc. in geological engineering from the University of Toronto.


Boris Kamstra, Director, Pangea

“It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela’s quote is an axiom that defines Boris’ career. That latest achievement has been the successful birth of Alphamin’s Bisie tin project. Boris is an accomplished senior business and investment executive. He has a passion for Africa and the varied opportunities it holds. His ability to identify potential, unlock opportunity and celebrate talent diversity adds significant value in the growing and competitive African business and mining environment. Boris graduated with an MBA from WITS Business School, University of Witwatersrand and a BSc (Civil Engineering) (cum laude) from the University of Cape Town - both times named on the Dean’s merit list. Boris is a Registered Professional Engineer with the SA Engineering Council and is a member of the SA Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

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Dr Roger Key, Head of Exploration, Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration Company

Roger Key gained his BSc (Hons.) and PhD from the University of Liverpool in the period 1965 to 1972. Over the following 40 years he worked as a mapping geologist and research scientist throughout Africa producing over 300 peer-reviewed publications including numerous geological maps. Important parts of this work included the training of young African geologists, many of whom later became Directors of their national Geological Surveys, professors in local universities and leading professionals in mineral exploration companies. Between 2012 and 2016 he was an independent geological consultant for exploration companies throughout Africa on coal, gold and hydrocarbon projects as well as on regional geological mapping projects. Since 2016 he has been in charge of exploration at Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration Company (Pty) Ltd along the ENE-WSW Jwaneng-Makopong Shear/Feeder Zone through the Molopo Farms Complex in southern Botswana.

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Mosa Mabuza, Chief Executive Officer, Council for Geoscience

Mosa Mabuza qualified as geologist with a BSc (Hons) and with a PDA in Business. He has extensive exploration experience in multiple regional jurisdictions that span SADC, West Africa and Canada, amongst others. He assumed his official duties in 2006 as Director of Mineral Economics in the erstwhile Department of Minerals and Energy and later became Deputy Director-General of the Mineral Policy (and Investment Promotion) in 2012. During his tenure as an official, he was assigned with the duties of leading the preliminary strategy for sustainable development and meaningful transformation of South Africa’s mining industry with emphasis on competitive growth and transformation as symbolistic reinforcing concepts, the development of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill and the assessment of the progress impact on the implementation of the Mining Charter in 2009 and 2015, which respectively based the evidence value proposition for the amendments of the 2010 and 2017 Mining Charter. Mr Mabuza represented the Department of Mineral Resources on the boards of number of science councils and State-Owned Entities, including, albeit not limited to, the Council for Geoscience, Mintek and the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator. In November 2016, Mr Mabuza was deployed to the Council for Geoscience and now serves as CEO (since July 2017). He is currently working with his colleagues to champion the refocused geo-scientific programme that seeks to optimise the development impact, aligned with the national developmental priorities.

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Peter Major, Director: Mining, Mergence Corporate Solutions

Peter Major was born in Vancouver, British Columbia on 16 May 1955. His family moved to Kellogg, Idaho, the 'silver mining capital of the world' in 1961, where Peter grew up and worked through 1981. Peter graduated from Montana School of Mines in 1981 and came to South Africa in Jan 1982 to work for Harmony Gold Mine. He completed his South African Mine Manager's Certificate, an MBA from UCT and thereafter worked as a consultant and as Marketing & Training Manager for Eimco Mining Machinery SA. Peter began his investment career with Allan Gray in 1989 as a gold mine analyst. He then spent 10 years as mining analyst & fund manager at Nedcor Investment Bank where he won 2 Raging Bull Awards, 1 ‘runner up, and was South Africa’s Top Fund Manager 2 other years. In 2001 as CIO he set up HBD Asset Management with Mark Shuttleworth, with assets of $530m growing to $1.5bn by 2005. In 2006 Peter joined Cadiz where he is Director: Mining, focusing on Private Equity, Capital Raising and M & A activity in the Mining & Resources sector.


Billy Mawasha, Director, Kolobe Nala Investment Company

Kolobe Nala Investment Company (Pty) Ltd (KNI) is a family-owned business focused on investments in mining, energy and aviation and is headed by Billy Mawasha, who has extensive mining experience with Anglo American, Rio Tinto, De Beers and AngloGold Ashanti to name but a few. Until recently, Billy was the Country Head in South Africa for Rio Tinto and the MD of Richards Bay Minerals. In addition, Billy serves on the Board of Metair Investments Ltd (MTA:SJ – Automotive Components and Battery Manufacturer) and is the Chairman of their Investment Committee and a member of the Audit and Risk and Nomination Committees. Billy is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Billy’s experience, a strong network of relationships in the mining industry and his understanding of doing business across the continent, enables KNI to bring long-term value-adding perspectives, hands-on and pragmatic expertise and solid operational and technical know-how to projects they invest in. This is realised through strategic guidance and active participation in the board of directors and associated committees, in particular the investment, technical and risk committees and through working collaboratively with relevant parties and management teams. 


Paul Miller, Director, AmaranthCX

Paul is a business development specialist with a background in sales consulting, financial services, mining finance, minerals exploration, mine development and mining operations. He has previously worked as a management consultant, with Accenture, in the South African logistics, mining and financial services sectors and advised clients on equity capital raisings, mergers and acquisitions and Black Economic Empowerment transactions while an investment banker with Nedbank CIB. He was Founder and Managing Director of Keaton Energy, which was then a start-up coal exploration company.  He led the team which took the company through a listing and equity capital raising on the JSE, project financed and built a 2.4mtpa open-cast colliery and acquired and turned-around a distressed ultra-low seam anthracite colliery.  He then had a second stint with Nedbank CIB as a specialist Mining & Metals Investment Banker with responsibility for growing the bank’s business across all products in South Africa and into the rest of Africa. Until recently, Paul was Managing Director of CCP 12J Managers (Pty) Ltd, the management company of CCP 12J Fund Limited, a mining-focused venture capital company, established in terms of Section 12J of the Income Tax Act. Paul is currently a Director of AmaranthCX, a consultancy. Paul was listed in Miningmx’s Rainmakers and Potstirrers as one of the 100 most influential people in SA’s mining industry in every edition from 2008 to 2012 and again in 2018. He is a member of the JSE’s Altx Advisory Committee.  Paul is regularly invited to speak at industry conferences and is frequently quoted in the press. Paul completed INSEAD’s Advanced Management Programme at the Singapore campus in 2015 and has a B.Comm (Hons) degree (cum laude) from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg.

 

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Mpumelelo Mkhabela, Chairperson, Menar

Mpumelelo Mkhabela is the Chairperson of Menar, which has controlling stakes in Canyon Coal, Zululand Anthracite Colliery, Kangra and East Manganese. He is an experienced media practitioner and business leader.

As a political and policy analyst, Mkhabela regularly comments on South Africa’s political economy. He has edited the Sowetan and the Daily Dispatch newspapers and is also the former chairman of the South African National Editors’ Forum. His qualifications include a BA Hons (Political Science) from the University of Limpopo, BA Journalism (Hons) and a certificate in economic and political risk analysis from Stellenbosch University and, lastly, an MA in International Politics from the University of South Africa.


Fortune Mojapelo, Chief Executive Officer, Bushveld Minerals

Fortune is a mining entrepreneur with a strong exploration and development track record, Fortune has played a leading role in the origination, establishment and project development of several junior mining companies in Africa including New Kush Exploration and Mining (Gold in South Sudan), AfriTin Mining (Tin), Bushveld Resources Limited (Iron Ore), New Horizon Minerals (Iron Ore), Bushveld Platinum Limited (PGMs) and Eagle Resources Limited (Uranium). As Chief Executive Officer of Bushveld Minerals since its inception, he also serves as a Non-Executive Director of ASX-listed Lemur Resources Limited.

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Adv. Thabo Mokoena, Director General, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy of South Africa

Adv Thabo Mokoena was born on 20 March 1975 in Senekal, situated in the eastern part of the Free State province. He attended various farm schools from 1984 to 1989. In 1990, he moved to Tembisa Township and studied at the Jiyana Senior Secondary School until 1996, when he completed his matric. In 1997, he was awarded a scholarship to study law. He completed his LLB Degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Law from the University of the Western Cape. He has served as the African National Congress Youth League, Deputy Regional Secretary, in the Thabo Mofutsanyana Region; and further served as a Member or the Provincial Executive Committee of the Young Communist League in the Free State Province. He has served as the Deputy Regional Secretary of the African National Congress and Deputy District Secretary of the South African Communist Party in the Thabo Mofutsanyana Region and as a Regional Head of the ANC Legal and Monitoring Task Team for the Free State Regional Election Team. He also served as the Provincial Head of Legal and Monitoring for the African National Congress Free State Election Team. In 2007, he was appointed as a Manager of Legal and Communication Services for the Setsoto Local Municipality. In 2012,he was appointed as the Municipal Manager for the Ngwathe Local Municipality. In 2014, he was appointed to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Free State Legislature until 2017. In 2017, he was appointed to serve as the Director-General of the Department of Mineral Resources, which is now the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.


Bert Monro, CEO, Cora Gold

In January 2020, Bert Monro was appointed CEO of Cora Gold.  Bert has significant experience in both the resource sector and the City.  Most notably, he spent over ten years at Hummingbird Resources plc, holding several roles including Operations Manager, Country Manager and Head of Business Development as the company transitioned from a private pre-resource explorer through to a listed gold miner with over 6 Mozs of gold resources in West Africa.  Bert was a Non-Executive Director for Cora from its IPO until 2019.

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Mametja Moshe, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Moshe Capital

Mametja Moshe has over fourteen years’ finance experience in corporate finance, equities capital markets, debt capital markets, black economic empowerment, accounting, auditing and corporate tax fields. She is the founder and CEO of Moshe Capital. Prior to Moshe Capital, Mametja worked at Identity Capital Partners(“ICP”), a South African investment group, as an executive in finance and senior associate in the investments team. Mametja spent over four years in banking prior to ICP at Morgan Stanley from 2007 to 2010 covering South African, Zambian and Nigerian M&A and equity capital markets and UBS South Africa (2006 to 2007) covering South African M&A. During this period in banking she led teams in the execution of transactions worth over $4 Billion. Before her investment-banking career, Mametja spent five years at KPMG Inc., serving her auditing articles in the consumer products team and later joining the corporate tax team where she covered tax compliance, restructurings, M&A and BEE transactions.

Mametja sat on the boards of Identity Mineral Resources (Pty) Ltd and Altech Netstar (Pty) Ltd (alternate), Southgold Exploration (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of the multinationally-listed Great Basin Gold Limited and EuroDollar Foreign Exchange (Pty) Ltd. Mametja obtained her B.Com Hons (Accounting) and B.Com Hons (Management Accounting) degrees from the University of KwazuluNatal. She is a qualified chartered accountant and an MBA graduate in the Global Executive Programme at Columbia Business School and London Business School.

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Mitford Mundell, Chief Executive Officer, Africa, Theta Gold Mines

Mitford has three decades’ experience in the mining industry, having worked for Harmony Gold, De Beers, Namakwa Diamonds and now Theta Gold Mines.  After working through all the mining ranks, he has held positions as General Manager, Business Coach,  Organisational Head of Business Improvement (Harmony and De Beers),  COO (Namdeb), and CEO (Namakwa Diamonds and Theta Gold Mines). He holds qualifications in mining, management and leadership, as well as an Executive Masters in Consulting and Coaching for Change from HEC Paris and the University of Oxford (summa cum laude).  He is also a qualified Business Coach and in the process of accreditation with the International Coaching Federation.

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Simone Naicker, Process Engineer in Training, Exxaro Resources

Simone Naicker is a process engineer, a woman and a millennial – but above all she is an authentic and simple human who has a story to tell. Her journey in the industry began with a BEng Chemical Engineering Degree from the University of Pretoria. In her current role she is an Engineer in Training, in the coal processing industry, working for Exxaro Resources. During the 2 years Simone has spent in the industry she has acted in several leadership roles including Plant Foreman, Lead Value Chain Integrator and Senior Metallurgist during the commissioning phase of the Greenfields Belfast Coal Implementation Project. Simone says that she sees value in perspective and through engaging the industry from a variety of roles she believes that she will empower herself during this training period to further grow and contribute. 

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Deshnee Naidoo, former Chief Executive Officer, Vedanta Zinc International and CMT

Deshnee Naidoo is a mining executive with diverse experience spanning 22 years. She has progressed through both the operational and corporate ranks across various functions and commodities over multiple geographies. Deshnee started her career at Anglo American Platinum in 1998 where she occupied a range of positions, including Process Engineer, Strategic Long-term Planning Manager and Manager - Corporate Finance Manager. She was appointed Deputy Head of the Anglo American Group CEO’s office in 2009 . In 2011, she was appointed CFO of Anglo American Thermal Coal, where she managed two commodities (thermal coal and manganese) across three geographies (South Africa, South America and Australia).

Deshnee was appointed CEO of Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) and Copper Mine Tasmania (CMT), subsidiaries of Vedanta Limited, in 2014. She was responsibie for operations and projects in South Africa and Namibia, the now closed Lisheen Mine in Ireland, and CMT in Australia. In May 2018, Deshnee was appointed to the board of the Minerals Council South Africa. Deshnee was also appointed CEO of Konkola Copper Mine and Africa Base Metals for Vedanta Resources Limited in June 2018. During her time at Vedanta, Deshnee saw the execution of the iconic Gamsberg Project in the Northern Cape. During her two-year tenure at the Minerals Council, Deshnee championed the Women in Mining initiative to advance the representation and development of women in the industry. Deshnee left Vedanta in May 2020 to spend time with her family whilst she plans her next industry move.


Jan Nelson, CEO and Founder, Nature|Metal|Environment Company (NME)

Jan is an entrepreneur and a seasoned CEO of several successful private and public companies. Jan was responsible for transforming Pan African Resources PLC from explorer to one of the best dividend mid-tier mining companies of its day. Jan also formed ReThink Resources, a private company that within 2 years took from concept on paper two operating businesses: a junior gold refinery called Kusasa Gold Refinery and also built from scratch a copper SX-EW copper plant, where all was designed and built in-house, that is currently in production – also in less than 2 years. The plant has produced the first commercial copper production and clean-up operations in the area in 15 years. Jan’s new venture is NME, a company that focusses on recovering battery and precious metals whilst cleaning up the environment. The company has developed in-house  IP that allows for a zero-Waste footprint after clean-up operations – a process he calls ECO-CARE. Jan is bringing this company to market this year and believes it will revolutionize how we approach mining in the same way Tesla revolutionized the car market. The company is not a mining company although it does process and mine – it is rather a company that sources and sells socially-ethical and sustainable ECO-PREMIUM metal for the green revolution.

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Lili Nupen, Director, Nupen Staude de Vries

Lili Nupen is a director of Nupen Staude de Vries Incorporated, a boutique law firm specialising in Construction, Mining and Environmental Law. She is well versed in all aspects of the legal mining arena and has created invaluable relationships with its regulators, including the Department of Mineral Resources, the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Water and Sanitation. Lili has assisted with the analysis of the 2018 Mining Charter and the effect which it has on mining operations in South Africa, has been involved in transactions involving both local and international mining companies, and has advised on cross-border regulatory requirements. Lili has extensive experience specialising in mining and environmental regulatory law practice and is vested in helping create a thriving junior mining sector.

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Helen Pein, Director, PanEx Resources

Helen is a qualified economic geologist with over 30 years’ experience in various commodities. She graduated cum laude from Stellenbosch University in 1985 and commenced her career at Gencor in Wits gold exploration. She joined Pangea Exploration (Pty) Ltd in 1994, a private company which has been successful in discovering and assisting in developing new mines throughout Africa. Helen was a Director and shareholder of Pangea for almost 20 years. During this period, the small team was responsible for the discovery of a number of world-class deposits. In 2012 Pangea affiliated with private equity company Denham Capital International, providing analysis and technical evaluation of prospective mining investments in Africa. In 2018 a new company, PanEx Resources, was formed to continue the discovery, exploration and development of mines globally. Helen has had representation on numerous Boards and technical committees of various global exploration and mining companies.

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Mashale Phumaphi, Managing Director, Shumba Energy

Mashale is the Managing Director of Shumba Energy and an executive focused on funding and developing energy projects in Africa. He has over 16 years’ experience in the mining and energy sector, conducting investment analyses and research and he has raised debt and equity finance for several projects in America, Europe and Africa. Mashale started his career as an Engineer with Debswana Diamond Company based at Jwaneng Mine in Botswana. He holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from the University of Sheffield and is a member of the United Kingdom Society of Investment Professionals (UKSIP) and the London-based Association of Mining Analysts (AMA).

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Andries Rossouw, Partner, PwC South Africa

Andries is PwC’s Africa Energy, Utilities and Resources leader and an experienced JSE accredited audit partner. He has been with the firm since 1997 and partner since 2007. He has experience in numerous stock exchange transactions, including IPOs, fund raisings, and reporting accountant work for acquisitions. He has a specific focus on mining clients across commodities and mining methods. Andries is the project leader for the firm’s SA Mine and Global Mine publications which gives him excellent insight into industry wide issues.  Although he has a specific focus on mining and construction clients, Andries also has a variety of cross industry exposure with previous involvements in retail, manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, banking and insurance clients. His core industries has given him the opportunity to work with cross border teams on a regular basis. 


Jim Rutherford, Non-Executive Director, Anglo American

Mr Rutherford has over 25 years’ experience in investment management and investment banking and currently serves as a non-executive director on the boards of four publicly listed and one private company.  He has extensive international experience and brings considerable financial insight from the perspective of the capital markets. Since November 2013, Mr. Rutherford has served as a Non-Executive Director of Anglo American plc, a FTSE100 diversified mining company and, since June 2020, has served as Non-Executive Chairman of Centamin plc, a UK-listed gold mining company.  He is also a director on the boards of Anglo Pacific Group plc, a UK-listed mining royalty company, where he serves as Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Sustainability Committee; of GT Gold Corp, a Canadian-listed mining exploration company, where he serves as Lead Independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee; and of the Tantallon Capital India Fund, a dedicated Indian equity investment fund.  Formerly, he was Chairman of Dalradian Resources Inc., which is developing the Curraghinalt gold deposit in Northern Ireland, until its takeover in September 2018 by Orion Resource Partners. Between 1997 and 2013, Mr Rutherford was Senior Vice President of Capital International Investors, a division of Capital Group, a long-established US-based investment institution, where he had responsibility for investments globally in the mining and metals industry. Prior to joining Capital Group, he spent over ten years as an investment analyst for HSBC James Capel in New York, covering the South American mining and metals industry, and for Credit Lyonnais Securities (formerly Laing & Cruickshank) in both New York and London. Mr Rutherford obtained a BSC (Econ) in Economics & Computer Science from Queens University Belfast in 1980 and an MA (Econ) in Development Economics from the University of Sussex in 1981.  He is also an alumnus of the London Business School.

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Muhammad Saloojee, Director, Tax Lexicon

Muhammad is an admitted attorney, Director in and founder of Tax Lexicon, a boutique tax law firm which started operations in January 2018. Muhammad has more than 23 years of tax and legal experience, both in delivering high-end tax solutions to clients, as well as in various leadership and executive roles. Until recently, Muhammad was Head of Tax for KPMG in Africa, a role which he held in conjunction with Head of Tax for KPMG South Africa. Muhammad also held the role of Head of Corporate and Head of Mining Tax for KPMG South Africa. During 2008-201l Muhammad was seconded as Head of Tax for KPMG Saudi Arabia where he led the Saudi tax team in achieving significant milestones, such as establishing annual client tax seminars, securing KPMG Saudi onto the Tax Committee for Banks and introducing Saudi females into the tax practice for the first time ever. On his return to South Africa in 2011, Muhammad was mandated to build KPMG’s corridor with the Middle East. Muhammad has achieved a number of “firsts” in his career,  including the first ever black tax partner in KPMG South Africa (which incorporates the old Andersen tax practice), the first ever tax partner to be appointed onto KPMG’s policy board and the first legal partner to be appointed onto KPMG’s executive committee in South Africa. Muhammad’s specialisation is in corporate and international tax, M&A tax, mining tax and tax dispute and resolution matters.

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Dr. Lars Schernikau, Energy Economist and Entrepreneur, HMS Bergbau Group

Dr Lars Schernikau studied at New York University and INSEAD in France before gaining his doctoral degree in energy economics with a focus on the coal business at the Technical University Berlin, Germany. Lars joined the commodity business in 2003 and before that he worked at The Boston Consulting Group in New York, USA and Munich from 1997-2003. As a co-founder, shareholder and former member of the supervisory board in the German-based, publicly listed, international coal marketing and mining companies HMS Bergbau AG and IchorCoal NV,Lars has founded, worked for and advised a number of companies in the coal and commodity sectors in Europe, Asia and Southern Africa. Currently, Lars focuses on further developing HMS’ global operations as well as marketing of energy and other commodities in Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Indian subcontinent. Today, next to his operational work in the commodity industry, he regularly speaks at major energy and commodity conferences and workshops around the world. Lars advises selected governments, banks and conglomerates on energy policy. He has published two books: "The Renaissance of Steam Coal" in 2010 and “Why Coal will Continue to Power the World” in 2017, which focus on the role of steam coal for today’s energy market and analyzes global demand and supply in a world of increased sustainability requirements. He argues that coal will remain a key energy resource for decades to come and bridges the gap between the oil age and the future “new energy age”.

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Charles Siwawa, Chief Executive Officer, Botswana Chamber of Mines

Charles Siwawa is currently employed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Chamber of Mines based in Gaborone, a position he has occupied since 2010. The Botswana Chamber of Mines exists to serve the interests of the mining industry in the country and to influence policy decisions and strategic intents within the government, non-governmental organizations and related bodies. Charles has an extensive background in the mining industry in Botswana dating back to 1982.

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Errol Smart, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Orion Minerals

Errol is a geologist, registered with the South African Council of Natural Scientific Professionals. He has more than 25 years of industry experience across all aspects of exploration, mine development and operations with experience in precious and base metals. Errol has held positions in Anglogold, Cluff Mining, Metallon Gold, Clarity Minerals, LionGold Corporation and African Stellar Holdings.  His senior executive roles have been on several boards of companies listed on the TSX, ASX and JSE.

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John Smelt, Former Head of IR, Rio Tinto, London

John Smelt spent 15 years as a fund manager, initially specialising in the stock markets of Africa and the Middle East and then covering global mining. From 2003, John transferred to the corporate side, working for several mining companies including 3 new listings in London and latterly as Global Head of Investor Relations for Rio Tinto.


Bernard Swanepoel, Chairman

Bernard is the Chairman of the annual Junior Indaba and Joburg Indaba as well as an Executive Director of the SBI. He is a Partner at To-The-Point Growth Specialists as well as a Partner in THINKspiration. He served as Non-Executive Director on the boards of Impala, Zimplats, Eqstra and African Rainbow Minerals Limited. Previous roles include Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Village Main Reef Limited and CEO of Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited. He is Chairman and Managing Partner of MMC (Manganese Metal Company) as well as a non-executive director of African Rainbow Energy Producer (AREP).

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Madelein Todd, Chief Marketing Officer, Manganese Metal Company (MMC)

Madelein Todd holds the position of Chief Marketing Officer for Manganese Metal Company (Pty) Ltd (“MMC”) and she has been a member of the MMC team for over 20 years.  She studied Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Pretoria and spent the first number of years at MMC in a technical role, working on process efficiency improvements as well as product development projects for the high purity electrolytic manganese produced by MMC.  Madelein joined the Marketing Department first in the capacity of technical customer support and later as full time market analyst.  The global electrolytic manganese metal industry operates in a fairly obscure market, but due to MMC’s wide customer base and focused approach to market segmentation, Madelein holds a comprehensive understanding of this niche segment of the greater manganese market.  Electrolytic manganese has applications in special steels, flat rolled aluminium, lithium-ion batteries, welding consumables and selected chemicals.


Piet Viljoen, Chairman, Regarding Capital Management (RECM)

Piet Viljoen started out as a lecturer at the University of Pretoria and subsequently joined SARB as an economic analyst. He joined Allan Gray Investment Counsel in 1991 as a portfolio manager and later moved onto Investec Asset Management in 1995. He founded Regarding Capital Management (Pty) Ltd in 2003 and is currently Chairman of the listed investment company RAC. He is also a Director of diamond mining company Transhex, and a portfolio manager with Boutique Asset Manager CounterPoint Asset Management.

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Nick von Schirnding, Chairman & CEO, Arc Minerals

Nick has over 25 years' experience in the mining industry. He is Executive Chairman of Arc Minerals plc, a London-listed mining group with interests in Europe and Africa.  Nick is also a consultant to Apollo Group, one of the largest private equity groups, Chairman of Fodere Group, a private company that has developed environmentally sustainable technology to extract high value minerals from ore and a director of Jangada Mines plc, listed in London. Previously Nick was CEO of Asia Resource Minerals plc, a FTSE-listed mining company, and was instrumental in successfully restructuring the group (formerly Bumi plc).  Nick was also Deputy Chairman of Berau Coal, Indonesia's 4th largest listed coal company.  Prior to this, Nick was a senior executive with Anglo American plc and De Beers. Nick has worked and lived in developed and emerging markets including the UK, India, SE Asia, Africa and South America.

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Dr John Ward, Mineral Resources Manager, Namakwa Diamonds

John holds a Doctorate in Geology (PhD from now UKZN) and has worked in c. 26 countries, 20 of which were in Africa, mainly on alluvial and kimberlite diamond projects ranging from greenfields exploration through to large-scale production operations. Apart from consulting, John has also worked for a major and two junior diamond companies and has received two medals for his contribution to academic and economic geology in southern Africa. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of South Africa, a Life Member of SASQUA and the Geological Society of Namibia and a SAMREC Competent Person in primary and secondary diamond deposits.

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Louis Watum, President of the Chamber of Mines, DRC; Managing Director, Kipushi Corporation SA

Louis Watum joined Ivanhoe Mines in December 2014 as Managing Director of the company’s operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In March 2015, he was appointed to the additional role of General Manager, Kamoa Copper SA. Louis leads responsibilities for Ivanhoe Mines’ mine development activities now underway at the Kamoa copper discovery and the Kipushi zinc-copper-silver mine, both in the DRC. Prior to joining Ivanhoe Mines, Louis spent eight years assuming progressively senior responsibilities in the DRC’s mining sector. Between 2010 and 2014, he successfully led the development and commissioning of Randgold’s Kibali Project, which followed his work on the launch of Moto Gold Mines’ Moto Project from 2006 to 2009. Louis was previously the Operations Manager at the Yatela Gold Mine in Mali from 2001 to 2005. He holds a Masters of Science Degree from the University of Lubumbashi in the DRC.

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William (Bill) Witham, Chief Executive Officer, Australia-Africa Minerals and Energy Group

William (Bill) Witham has broad experience over a 30-year career working in the technical, commercial, marketing and financial fields of the international exploration and mining industry. Bill spent two years in the 1990s based in Africa as General Manager for World Geoscience Corporation. This gave him a broad perspective over many African countries where their geophysical surveys were conducted. Since then Mr Witham has worked for a number of international and Australian companies in Africa and Australia including DMC Mining (Congo), Waratah Resources (Congo) and Whinnen Resources Ltd (Cameroon and Namibia). Bill holds a Bachelor in Science with Honours in Geology from the University of Western Australia and is the CEO of the Australia-Africa Minerals and Energy Group (AAMEG).

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Charles Young, Head of Mining, Partner: Corporate/M&A, Bowmans

Charles Young heads the Mining Sector Group at Bowmans. He specialises in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets transactions and general corporate and commercial law. Charles has significant experience in domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, governed by both English and South African law, across the African continent, including in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Ghana, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Mali and Kenya. His clients include local and international mining houses, energy and resources companies, telecommunications, banking and insurance institutions and hospitality and gaming concerns. A recent transaction highlight for Charles was advising Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd in relation to its USD 300 million acquisition of AngloGold’s remaining South African assets and related liabilities, including Mponeng.  For this transaction the firm received the accolade of Energy and Natural Resources Team of the Yearat the African Legal Awards 2020. Charles has an LLM from Yale Law School, USA and B.Com and LLB (Hons) degrees from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He is admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, an attorney at law in the State of New York and a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

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