2023 Speakers

Louis Nel, CEO, Manganese Metal Company (MMC)

Louis Nel is a highly accomplished senior manager with over 21 years of experience in the manufacturing and manganese refining industries. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Manganese Metal Company (Pty) Ltd, the world's largest producer of pure electrolytic manganese metal, where he has successfully positioned the company for profitability through his effective leadership, vision and operational expertise. Louis is also a visible member of industry organisations and serves as the Executive Director on the board of Manganese Metal Company (Pty) Ltd. Earlier in his career, Louis worked as an Audit Manager at Deloitte, where he completed his mandatory articles and qualified as a Chartered Accountant (SA).

Roger Baxter, CEO, Minerals Council South Africa

Mr Baxter was appointed CEO of the Minerals Council in 2015. He has 29 years of high-level advocacy and strategy experience in the business and mining sectors. He was involved in the first mineral policy discussions with the ANC in 1992 and in most of the significant minerals policy discussions since then.  He has participated in, and often led, the business negotiation teams on a range of issues such as the 2002 Mining Charter, the 1998 Energy Policy White Paper, the 1997 Skills Development Act, the 2009 Royalty Act, the 2010 revised Mining Charter, etc. He has participated in all the Presidential Job Summit and Investment Conferences, and he has played a leadership role in encouraging government to focus on the issues that drive South Africa’s investment competitiveness. He previously chaired the Business Unity South Africa’s (BUSA) Economic Policy Committee and Economic Growth Task Team. He is the Founding Chairman of the World Platinum Investment Council. He recently participated in President Ramaphosa’s 7-a-side NEDLAC leadership team looking at how to revive the economy post COVID-19. He has played a key leadership role in rejuvenating the brand of the Minerals Council and brings material leadership, governance, strategy, investment, and transformation skills to the table.

He is a member of the Minerals Council Board, the BUSA Board, the TEBA Fund Trust Board of Trustees and he chairs the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC). He is Chairman of the Associations Coordination Group of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and is the current Chairman of the Mining Industry Association of Southern Africa (MIASA). In 2020, Mr Baxter was the winner of the Mining Review Africa, 2020 Mining Thought Leader of the Year award. The article states “Fully committed to the mining industry and a person who pulls no punches when it comes to addressing pertinent matters. These words aptly describe Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter.” In 2018, Mr Baxter was awarded the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy’s (SAIMM) Brigadier Stokes Platinum medal for his contribution to the South African mining sector. Since the launch of the MiningMX “Rainmaker and Pot-stirrers” publication, Mr Baxter has been listed as one of Africa’s top 100 most influential people in the mining industry.


Andrew Bishop, CFO, Golconda Gold

Andrew Bishop is a senior financial executive with over 19 years of experience in accounting, finance and business development within the public markets. Andrew is a commercially-focused Chartered Accountant and holds a MEng (Hons) degree in Chemical Engineering. Andrew started his career at PwC in London and has spent the last 15 years in the mining industry, with increasingly senior roles at Aureus Mining Inc., Avesoro Resources Inc. and Golden Star Resources Ltd.

Jason Brewer, CEO, Marula Mining; Chairman, Neo Energy Metals

Jason Brewer is a qualified mining engineer, with a master’s degree, with Honours, from the Royal School of Mines at Imperial College, London and has worked in both underground and open-cast mining operations in the UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa. He has had experience with a number of major global investment banks, including Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, NM Rothschild & Sons (Australia) Limited and Investec Bank (Australia) Limited in London, Sydney and Perth, where he was responsible for structuring and arranging corporate and project financing facilities for mining and exploration companies with a particular focus on projects in Africa. He is the founder and principle of Gathoni Muchai Investments (GMI), an active, private equity-style investment company, focused on the mining and metals sector opportunities in Africa. With headquarters in Nairobi; Kenya and with offices in London and Perth, GMI originates and structures transactions, provides early-stage capital and works closely with local partners and private publicly-listed companies to provide early-stage capital, structure, management and a clear path to international capital markets. Jason is the current CEO of Marula Mining Plc, a London-listed battery metals focused company that is producing lithium in South Africa and developing a high-grade copper project in Tanzania and advancing two graphite projects in Tanzania. He is also the Chairman of Neo Energy Metals, a uranium and energy metals exploration and development company focused on the Henkries uranium project in South Africa's Northern Cape province.


Heye Daun, President & CEO, Osino Resources

Heye is a Namibian mining engineer with an impressive 25-year track record with top-tier companies across the mining value chain. After building and operating mines with Rio Tinto, AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields early in his career, he joined the finance sector working for Nedbank Capital and Old Mutual Investment Group. Heye is the co-founder of the former Auryx Gold Corp. which advanced the Otjikoto gold project in Namibia until selling to B2 Gold Corp for US$160m in 2011. As the former President & CEO of Ecuador Gold & Copper Corp. (“EGX”), Heye was instrumental in the formation of Lumina Gold Corp. through the C$200m merger of EGX with Odin Mining, before founding Osino Resources in 2015.


Alistair Hodgkinson, Chief Operating Officer, DRA Global

Alistair Hodgkinson is the Chief Operating Officer for DRA Global. Alistair joined DRA in 2007 and built up his 25 years of industry experience through his involvement in large scale mining and minerals processing projects across EMEA and implementing various greenfields and brownfields resources projects.  In his current role, Alistair is responsible for managing the operations and delivery of DRA’s diverse projects portfolio. 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.

Boris Kamstra, COO, Premium Nickel Resources

“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 the 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 member of the SA Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.


Mosa Mabuza, CEO, 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.


Peter Major, Director: Mining, Modern 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 Mergence as Director: Mining, focusing on Private Equity, Capital Raising and M & A activity in the Mining & Resources sector.

Mitford Mundell, CEO, Steenkampskraal

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.


George Roach, CEO, Premier African Minerals

George has extensive experience in the natural resources sector in Africa, providing consultancy to prospective exploration companies and is actively involved in several start-ups that have listed on AIM and TSX-V. George has successfully obtained licences and concluded mineral exploration and exploitation agreements in the entire SADC region, Ethiopia and most of CEMAC and ECOWAS regions. Prior to founding Premier, George was the Managing Director Africa, for Uramin Inc.


Errol Smart, Managing Director & CEO 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.


Alan Smith, Executive Chairman, Blyvoor Gold

Alan is a Wits Mining Engineer with over 45 years’ industry experience. He spent 27 years with Anglo and De Beers group of companies. He was the CEO of AngloGold South African Region, when it was the largest production unit for AngloGold. He was the CEO of FreeGold Ltd prior to the formation of AngloGold, He was also the GM of De Beers’ Central Mines (Kimberley, Finsch and Koffiefontein mines). Alan is a member of the Association of Mine Managers South Africa.


Anthony Viljoen, CEO, Andrada Mining

Anthony Viljoen is a seasoned African mining entrepreneur and mining executive. He is a founding shareholder of VM Investment Company (Pty) Ltd, a principal investments and advisory company with a bias towards mining exploration and development. He has been responsible for the establishment and project development of numerous mining projects, including vanadium, lithium, tin, tantalum, coal and gold across Africa.

Anthony was a founder and CEO of Lemur Resources (ASX:LMR), an Australian-listed company focused on the development of the coal basins for electricity generation in Madagascar, from inception in 2008 until the company was acquired by Bushveld Minerals in 2014. He was a founding shareholder and executive director of London-listed Bushveld Minerals (AIM:BMN), from 2011 until he exited earlier last year (2022), building Bushveld from an exploration company into a producer of 5% of the world’s supply of vanadium. His current role is as the founder and CEO of London-listed Andrada Mining (AIM:ATM), which is focused on identifying and developing technology metals for the energy transition. Under his leadership, the company identified and developed its flagship asset in Namibia, the Uis mine, which contains globally significant quantities of lithium, tin and tantalum. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Business and Agricultural Economics degree and a postgraduate qualification in finance and banking. He grew up in the mining industry in Africa and has drawn from the wealth of knowledge and experienced network of mining professionals acquired by his father and late uncle, Richard and Morris Viljoen, who were both pre-eminent professors of geology and are renowned for their contributions to the African mining industry and geology in particular. Between them, they cultivated more than a century of exploration and mine development experience.