Business News of 2014-04-07

Stanbic Bank affirms support for mining sector

Head of Mining, Energy and Infrastructure Finance of Stanbic Bank Ghana, Celiwe Ntuli has reiterated the bank’s commitment to support the extractive industry in the face of global challenges facing the sector.
Gold prices on the world market have been on the decline leading to a slowdown in mining activities, staff layoffs among other challenges globally.
Ghana’s mining industry accounts for 5% of the country's Gross Domestic Prodcut (GDP), and minerals make up 37% of total exports, of which gold contributes over 90% of the total mineral exports. This makes financing a key instrument in the generation of feasible revenue in the mining sector.
But speaking at a recently held Electra Mining West Africa conference held in Accra, Ms. Ntuli said Standard Bank Group, parent company of Stanbic Bank Ghana will continue to support the mining sector “irrespective of the challenges facing the extractive industry”.
According to her, the mining sector remains a key foreign exchange earner for the country hence is of the firm believe that the recent challenges is temporal.
Ms. Ntuli noted that, the most important objective of Stanbic Bank is to be able to confront the challenges faced by clients in the sector.
“More regional interactions and collaborations are important across borders. One of the biggest value additions is to be able to solve energy problems, rail transportation, shipping of commodities, logistics, and finding solutions to problems facing the mining sector to help the industry grow”, she added.
She was optimistic that by 2015 based on the general market consensus, the commodity pricing will improve.
“Markets are elastic. In 2009, we saw improved conditions that were witnessed after a breakdown in 2008. The challenges were detected half way through 2012 and also in 2013, which was adequately resolved. Therefore, we are certain commodity prices as a whole will be more positive and brighter in 2015”, she said.
Meanwhile, the Electra Mining West Africa 2014 conference offered a platform for industry players to promote investment and knowledge sharing for the enrichment of West Africa’s mining sector. It also sought to deepen partnerships for sustainable development of mineral and energy resources in the region.
West Africa is seen as a ‘mining hotspot’ and as one of the world’s fastest growing regions for gold production and has experienced what has been referred to as the West African gold rush'.
Delegates included financiers, investors, mining professionals and West African government delegations vested in developing business interest, promoting new mining exploration opportunities and repositioning Ghana as an attractive gateway for investment in West Africa.
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