|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2011
Steve Lewis | (703) 875-4357
ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION KICKS OFF U.S.-SOUTH AFRICA VISIT
Mine Water Management in South Africa a Primary Focus
ARLINGTON, VA – To support the implementation of water management projects in South Africa, on November 5-17, 2011, USTDA is hosting a reverse trade mission for country officials directly involved in the environmental initiative.
The RTM included two roundtable discussions at USTDA's Arlington, Va. Headquarters, which focused on finance and regulatory issues in mine water management. The South African delegation, which included government officials from the National Treasury and Department of Water Affairs as well as mining company executives, also met with U.S. federal agencies and members of U.S. private sector with expertise in mining environmental policy development, finance and regulatory affairs.
Currently, South Africa is investing in advanced processes and technologies to reduce the cost and amount of water resources required for the country’s mining activities. The country also faces rising acid mine-water drainage levels in certain regions, which they plan to mitigate through procedures and processes like those presented during their U.S. visit.
Petrus Matji, South Africa's National Treasury public finance director, was among the delegates attending the roundtable and RTM. He said the visit will aid his country in implementing an institutional funding model that will allow the South African government to more effectively respond to mine-water issues.
"By interacting with the U.S. government agencies and other colleagues, we're hoping to learn more and refine what we've already conceptualized,” Mr. Matji said. “We have a very good mix of private sector mining companies, entities and departments that we've brought together here with a common goal and understanding to move forward."
Following the roundtable discussion, the delegation will spend the next several days meeting with U.S. government agencies and companies to explore state-of-the-art mine water treatment facilities, equipment and services. The delegation will travel to Denver, CO; Salt Lake City, UT; and Elko, NV, for their visits.
Michael DeRenzo, USTDA Sub-Saharan Africa region country manager, helped to organize the roundtable and RTM. He said that the delegation visit was a great opportunity to demonstrate USTDA's mission and a great example of the mutual benefits USTDA seeks with its partnership programs.
"We have an opportunity to partner the delegates with technical experts, financiers, policy makers and U.S. technology suppliers to work together on mine water management issues. The visit is a great opportunity for the agency to showcase what it does," Mr. DeRenzo said.
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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries.
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