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+ Have you worked in a country other than South Africa?
Yes we have. We have worked in Botswana and Mozambique in Southern Africa. In west Africa we have done work in Nigeria and in east africa we have done work in Tanzania. We have also done work for European-based clients but from South Africa.
+ Can you work in countries where French is spoken?
Yes we can work in francophone countries (where French is spoken). We will typically obtain the services of a translator (which adds to costs). We will do the same for luciphone countries (where Portuguese is spoken) by getting a tranlator to help. The truth is that using translators adds to time delays and adds to cost. The way we deal with the language problem is to interview for a high-calibre, credible candidate to work from that country as our contracted agent.
Due to globlalistation, and the similar integration of African countries into a global business and trade network, many companies operating in francophone and luciphone countries also have established english as a form of corporate communication.
+ Must we register to be a waste generator according to the new Waste Act?
No. You may have to register as a waste generator according to your Municipal By-laws. Under the Waste Act you are classified as a Holder of the waste. If you are going to undertake any of the listed activities you would require a Waste Licence. EcoPartners can help you with this.
You can find the new Waste Act on our site. Just have a look under the Legislation tab.
+ Why do you focus on environmental legislation so much?
When one looks at the entire product life cycle or value chain, from the primary sector (extractive or agriculture) right up to the tertiary sectors, it is environmental legislation (like NEMA) that covers all. Some legislation, like the mining legislation (MPRDA, MHSA) covers the extractive sector only, and so has limited range.
To be able to follow all sectors we use the vantage point of environmental law that cuts across all.
+ How does implementing an environmental management system save you money?
Environmental Management Systems (or EMS) identify waste streams and reduce those. This saves costs in raw material. You also save in processing costs (you do not have to process the waste) and more importantly, you do not have to pay for disposal costs. So in three places you cut costs.
Secondly also identifies resources that can be replaced or substituted in order to reduce logistical costs and raw material costs.
Some waste are converted to by-products and sold on to different industries.
So three ways in which you could easily be making money. If any of these are not in place in your operation, you are missing an opportunity. Call us for advice.
+ Can you legalise a current activity that has been going on illegally for a few years?
This activity can be illegal frecame illegal dom the outset or it could have once been legal, but changes in the law have made it illegal. So if you know which you are dealing with then it is easier to proceed.
If it was always illegal and you knew about it then apply for a Section 24g under NEMA, pay the fine and be legal from now on.
If it became illegal over time then different laws have different transition periods. If you are still in the window period, then you can apply for authorisation and make it legal. if the transisition period is past then apply for a Section 24g under NEMA.
Call us for a confidential discussion if you are still worried.
+ We are a foreign company wanting to invest in southern Africa. My partners hear their is so much document fraud and exploration problems. Can you give me advice to how to be careful?
This problem of investor nervousness is common but is often overcome by actually traveling to the target country, spending some time understanding the local business culture (which is what you will be entering) and then make smart decisions.
Have a look at our newsletter which I have specifically written about mining investment fraud and then also look at our document dealing with 20 Red Flags around mining investment fraud.
If you have a specific problem with exploration let us know what the problem is and we help you tackle that problem.
+ When are you going to offer geology services? We want to use you for other work as well.
Sonce Novemeber 2010 we have also added geological services to our range of activities. Have a look at our documents or newsletters for more information.
Only because we know you, we have to add that what you are asking for is not geology services but a mineral processing audit. Our associate can help you with that. I will send you her details.
+ We had a 12 hole drill programme and we now need to find a professional engineer to write our company's exploration report. Can you give me some names?
Let us start with the fact that you need a professional geologist for your exploration report. Generally a professional geologist is also known as a professional natural scientist or Pr. Sci.Nat. You can use us becasue we have a professional geologist on staff. If you meet others here in South Africa ask if they are registered professionals. It is not rude to ask someone outright if they are registered or not.
In future you can verify if your professional geologist is a Pr. Sci.Nat. by seeing if they are in good standing on the SACNASP website (www.sacnasp.org.za) which maintains the list of professional geologists across South Africa.
Call me if you still need a professional engineer.
+ I have a prospecting permit but don't know what to do next. Help!!
There are many ways to proceed with a prospecting right as well as a mining right but generally let's start with the following three.
1. Find our newsletter on this site and have a look at some options (more than what we are giving you here). If you do not find the newsletter then request it by email.
2. Decide if you want to develop it into a mining property and then prepare for a long but exciting road ahead. Call us to guide you.
3. Perhaps you want to get partners in, in which case you need to prepare to spend some money in collating mining and geology information and then you will need to package that to present to a suite of investors. Call us to guide you here as well.
+ What is the largest valuation you have done and on what commodity?
We completed a valuation of about $400-million (~R3-billion) on a South African coal project. This is our largest. At the other end, our smallest valuation to date is ~$35 000 (~R200 000) on a prospecting site.
+ What does REID do?
REID is the acronym for Resource Economics and Industrial Development. Feedback from our clients indicated that beyond permitting and authorisations, they also faced operational hurdles. This varied from, how best to optimise inputs or markets; or even to what were the detailed drivers of a business; Gap Analysis and Risk Assessment featured very high as did its partner risk mitigation strategies; what is the value of an asset or an idea and can liabilities be packaged and sold as assets.
With such an array of discussions, and knowing that EcoPartners could also solve these problems for our clients, we launched REID as a separate unit to deal with specifically operational and competitive concerns of our clients.
REID is focussed on conducting two tireed studies, those dealing with short, quick answers, and those that are substantially more in-depth. They could model your business, or your financials or even your opportunties and present to you a clear answer to the biggest question "What Next?"
+ How do I know when I need a REID Consultant?
You will need a REID Consultant if you say Yes to two of the following questions:
Now if you answered Yes to just two of the above questions, then you are well on your way to needing a REID Consultant to come in and help develop certain areas of your business.
Remember, this is your business. Do not ever let a consultant make you stop your business. A consultant gives advice, and you can consider the advice .
+ Our company has many small problems but we cannot recruit someone for every little problem. How can you help us?
What you describe is probably the epxerience of many small and medium companies. Large companies experience similar issues albeit at a project level.
What we do offer clients and prospective clients is a technical service. That means we sit with the client, write out the many small problems, the recurring problems, the authorisation concerns etc etc. We then offer a technical service to the client so that the problems are addressed over a period of time, lets say 6 months to a year. Once completed we clear the site and wait for the next commission.
+ Who owns the mineral or prospecting rights under my farm or land?
Clearly I do not know which farm is yours but you can find out by accessing the DMRs online SAMRAD system and checking there (this is in South Africa only ok). But wait, it is a difficult system to get around for first timers so let us do this, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our team will check for you for free. We'll do this for a single farm and for private owners and if you are buying only (but not for law firms please, they can get too litigious for a service we want to help people with for free). We'll need your farm location (Province); nearest town and name of the farm with the registration number eg. Weltevreden 177 JP. If it is a portion then give us that. We'll access SAMRAD, see what it says and return an answer by email. This last part is important- send us an email because we'll keep it short and prompt - we cannot write long letters, reports etc. for free. We will give you the information though. If it has to be by fax and not email then you'll need to fax it to 0867184101.
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