Somaliland will, for the first time, form part of the African Mining Ministerial Forum at the 2014 Investing in African Mining Indaba, which will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from February 3 to 6.

“The indaba provides Somaliland with a platform to present the mining potential of the country and attract potential investors,” Somaliland Energy and Minerals Minister Hussein Abdi Dualeh tells Mining Weekly.

According to the Somaliland Sun, an independent online news portal on Somaliland and the Horn of Africa, Dualeh was invited to attend this year’s indaba by South African Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu in August, last year, when both Ministers attended the Africa Down Under conference in Perth, Australia.

“Somaliland has had a stable democratic government for the past 22 years and is prodevelopment. We have adopted an open-door policy on mining investment in our country,” states Dualeh, adding that while there are no active commercial mining operations in Somaliland, there are a few small-scale artisanal mining operations.

However, he points out that Somaliland is largely virgin territory, which is “just waiting for prospective mining companies”.

Dualeh emphasises that Somaliland is a low security risk, compared with other parts of the Horn of Africa.

“Government is also offer- ing competitive fiscal terms to potential mining companies. Most of the potential mineralised zones are along Somaliland’s coastline. Therefore, small discoveries are likely to be commercially viable owing to the easy access mining companies will have to coastal export terminals,” he says.

In addition, he notes that Somaliland’s Berbera port, in the north-western Berbera district, is situated near large reserves of uranium, platinum, rare-earth metals, gold, copper, iron-ore, coal, manganese, tin and gemstones. The port also has the added advantage of having direct access to major global shipping lanes.

Indaba Address and Networking

Dualeh tells Mining Weekly that he will speak during the indaba’s African Mining Ministerial Forum about mining opportunities in Somaliland.

“The geological environment and indications of mineralisation are favourable for the discovery and development of several types of metallic minerals. Recent geological surveys indicate that Somaliland has abundant deposits of iron-ore and manganese, as well as platinum- bearing and gold-bearing veins,” he states.

Further, Dualeh notes that there are several known deposits of other minerals, such as tantalite, columbite, tin, feldspar, kaolin, kyanite, lead, quartz crystals and glass sand.

He adds that recent geological fieldwork along the Somaliland coast confirms the presence of high concentrations of titanium- and iron-bearing mineral sands.

“My presentation is directed at investors, financiers and international mining exploration companies in Africa and worldwide and will provide industry stakeholders with insight about the great opportunities that exist in Somaliland,” Dualeh enthuses.

“Mining exploration and production in Somaliland will greatly enhance the African mining success story,” he notes.

“Events such as the indaba are a great forum for African mining industry executives, as well as professionals and representatives from resource-rich countries, to network and secure deals to develop African mining,” he concludes.

Edited by: Samantha Moolman