2020 Speakers

Vuslat Bayoglu, Managing Director, Menar

Vuslat Bayoglu is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of mining investment company Menar, which has controlling stakes in Canyon Coal, Zululand Anthracite Colliery, Kangra and East Manganese. He holds an Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering and has over 17 years’ experience in the mining industry. During that period, he has led the group’s subsidiaries from junior to mid-tier status through organic growth and acquisitions.  Vuslat is a hands-on investor with a keen interest in improving the South African economy. He is actively involved in seeking solutions to key issues faced by South Africa. Bayoglu also serves on the board of the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT).

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Alex Bevacqua, Global Head of Metals & Mining Consulting, Wood Mackenzie

Alex leads Wood Mackenzie’s global Metals and Mining Consulting Practice, advising both governments and companies. He has devised and implemented performance management strategies that have delivered operational improvements in mines across the globe. Alex has more than 25 years of management consulting experience, gained primarily in business strategy development and performance improvement. He draws on detailed knowledge of numerous mining-related projects throughout the world.

Recently, Alex worked directly with the President of a leading South American nation to develop an economic diversification strategy to revive the country’s mining sector and deliver economic growth. As a trusted advisor to the President, he led the implementation of a detailed monetisation strategy which is delivering sustainable growth. Alex has worked across a broad spectrum of projects – from advising different African nations on how to optimise their mining wealth and diversify their economies, to creating operational excellence programmes for private companies in the US, Europe and South East Asia.

Before joining Wood Mackenzie seven years ago, Alex held in senior management roles at Accenture, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Jamieson Group. In these roles, he focused primarily on business strategy development and implementation, as well as performance improvement.

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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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Robert Cowley, Group Chief Executive Officer, Namakwa Diamonds

Robert joined Namakwa Diamonds in August 2013. He is a Chartered Accountant and has 18 years of experience in the mining industry. He was previously with Harmony Gold for seven years, holding various management portfolios. Robert was a business consultant to the mining industry for seven years. Prior to his appointment as Group Chief Executive Officer, Robert headed up the finance and risk functions of Namakwa Diamonds as Chief Financial Officer and has integral experience of all aspects of the operations.

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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.


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: Europe, Middle East and Africa, 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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George Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer, Theta Gold Mines

George Jenkins is a qualified extraction metallurgist with 25 years of mining industry experience in South Africa and Australia. Throughout his career he has held various executive, operational, management and business development roles with the most recent executive role as COO for public company Aard Metals Ltd. He has extensive experience in managing operational mine sites ranging from precious metals to coal with companies such as JCI, Vale Australia and AMCOAL. He has also held operational managerial titles with several junior mining organisations. His appointment as CEO provides the company with expertise in feasibility studies, project development, plant construction, commissioning and production. In addition, his operational and business experience in South Africa and Australia will provide Stonewall with insights into the business dynamics of these two countries so that they can be integrated into the future of the company.

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Boris Kamstra, Executive 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.


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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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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Simone Naicker, Chemical Engineer, Process Development, 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, Mining Executive

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.


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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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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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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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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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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