Following on from the recent success of the 2009 Paydirt Resources Victoria Conference, at least five African mines and energy ministers will arrive in Perth to join Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Stephen Smith, for the seventh annual Paydirt Africa Downunder Conference, at the Sheraton Perth Hotel on September 3 – 4. The event will involve more than 800 delegates, and more than 40 companies, government spokespeople and other experts in transcontinental mining and minerals engagement – with a particular focus on gold and base metals, uranium and industrial minerals – will present. Leading the program will be addresses from ministers and officials from Ghana, Zambia, Namibia, Eritrea, Uganda, Nigeria and South Africa. “The investment axis between Australia and Africa has been subject in recent times to the extraordinary pressures of the global financial crisis and an unravelling range of unforeseen consequences,” Paydirt Executive Chairman and Conference Convenor, Bill Repard.“Since the 2008 review, many resource-focused African countries have faced challenges from GFC-generated investment decisions made in overseas mining headquarters far removed from the African continent,” Repard said.“The result is that Africa – while resource rich – faces a challenge leading into 2010 to prevent those waivering investment dollars moving offshore into Asia, the north or south Americas, or even back into outback Australia.“We expect these issues to be intense and the primary focus of much of the lobbying and negotiations at next week’s conference – the largest gathering outside of Africa of African mining interests.”The keynote address will be delivered for the first time by an Australian Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Hon. Stephen Smith is scheduled to take to the podium at 8.25 am on Thursday.
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