South African companies are optimistic of possible trade leads after the African Down Under (ADU) International Mining Conference and Exhibition.
"The businesspeople pointed out that they were returning with an impressive amount of promising trade leads, credible contacts and valuable information that they will have to sift through and follow up on in order to pursue potentially tangible deals," said the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) on Saturday.
Local companies participated in ADU through the assistance of the dti. It concluded in Perth, Australia, on Friday, 6 September.
The companies' participation in ADU was part of the Outward Selling Mission (OSM) to Australia, which was organised and funded by the dti.
The businesspeople said they were returning with an impressive amount of promising trade leads, credible contacts and valuable information that they will have to sift through and follow up on in order to pursue potentially tangible deals.
The Director of Business Development at North West-based Beake Africa, Kealeboga Seleka, said he managed to have good meetings with all the companies that he had planned to have discussions with during the mission.
"I saw all the companies I had planned to meet on this trip. I particularly had fruitful discussions with an Australian company that is setting up mining operations in the Northern Cape. We explored the feasibility of us providing them with steel and have agreed to meet for formal discussions next week. Hopefully something tangible will come out of those follow-up negotiations," said Seleka.
The Director of AZMET Technology & Projects, Ruan Kukard, said he managed to hold positive meetings with representatives of ministries of mines from 17 African countries, particularly to market his company's new cyanide removal technology.
"The meetings provided me with a good overview of resources, projects and developments in various African countries.
"The exposure you get at this kind of event and the contacts I have made are very valuable. We already have projects that we are currently executing in Ethiopia and Sudan, and the meetings went a long way in solidifying our relationships with mining officials from those countries," said Kukard.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the Steel Tube Export Association of South Africa, Keitumetse Moumakoe, said the conference was informative.
"We were able to understand what is going on in the continent with regards to mining projects, and the information will assist us to sift through the projects and identify those that our members can take advantage of and participate in. We also managed to engage with many CEOs of mining companies and senior government officials," said Moumakoe.
Twenty-five businesspeople travelled Perth to participate in the weeklong Outward Selling Mission (OSM). The delegation to Australia comprised companies operating in the mining, technology and services industry; mining, capital equipment and services; steel fabrication and steel tubing among others.
Bilateral trade between South Africa and Australia was R21 billion in 2013 and R28 billion in 2018, which is an average growth of 6% over five years.
The trade balance has been in favour of Australia since 2013, fluctuating from R5 billion to R16 million in 2016 and down to R7 billion in 2018.
In the Australasian region, Australia was South Africa's seventh export partner and fifth import partner in 2018.