Don Smale Interview

Don Smale Secretary general – international Copper Study group

Tell us about the activities of international copper study group & your role/responsibility within the organization.

The International Copper Study Group is an intergovernmental commodity organization whose activities, projects and publications cover a wide range of issues, focusing on market transparency, market access and sustainable development. Established in 1992, its headquarters are located in Lisbon, Portugal. ICSG endeavours to provide its membership, as well as industry and general public, with the most accurate, comprehensive and timely information on capacities, production, usage, trade, stocks, prices, technologies and on other factors that may inluence the supply and demand for copper. As Secretary-General I lead the work of the ICSG secretariat.

Please share with us what you will be speaking about at the 6th Zambia international mining Conference.

At ZIMEC 2016 I will be speaking about the current situation in the global copper industry based on the Study Group’s extensive statistical databases and research, the status of global copper reserves, the ICSG copper market forecast for 2016 and 2017, and the Study Group’s view of likely mine and smelter capacity developments out to 2019.

With the copper price at historic lows how do you think producing countries can mitigate against price volatility?

The Study Group does not have a mandate to examine or report on copper prices. Sustaining and enhancing market transparency, which is a key role of ICSG, is a very important tool in mitigating excessive price volatility.

Globally speaking what do you consider being the top 5 issues/challenges facing the mining industry?

  1. Obtaining and maintaining the licence to operate for exploration/mining/ processing with respect to both communities and governments
  2. Continuing to reduce costs while retaining productive capabilities
  3. Responding effectively to developments in the Chinese market
  4. Continuing to develop and introduce innovative technologies in a cost effective manner
  5. Responding effectively to environmental pressures including government regulation and access to water and energy.

About Don Smale:

Don Smale has been Secretary-General of the three Lisbon-based intergovernmental metals Study Groups, the International Copper Study Group, the International Lead and Zinc Study Group and the International Nickel Study Group, since 2006 leading their work in providing deinitive and wide-ranging monthly statistical data, directories of non-ferrous mines and plants, and economic analyses and environmental reports.

Don worked for two decades in the Australian Government focusing on industry policy development and program management in a range of sectors, culminating in responsibility for Australian Federal Government policy in relation to mining and metals including non-ferrous metals, iron and steel, and coal.

His career has had a strong international dimension, with a three year posting from 1988 to 1991 at the OECD’s Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry in Paris, and a further three year posting from 1993 to 1996 as a diplomat in the Australian Embassy in Tokyo focussing on industry and technology issues.

To ind out more about ZIMEC 2016 please visit www.zimeczambia.com


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