CAPE TOWN, South Africa, March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- GDS International's globally-renowned Next Generation Mining Africa summit is off to a flying start as the flagship NG20 sessions - a senior group of delegates and solution providers - kicked off yesterday at the five-star Arabella Western Cape Hotel & Spa, in South Africa. In addition to roundtable meetings, peer-led panel discussions and working lunches, the summit includes 'Collabor8', a superb icebreaker designed to drive interaction and discussion enabling operators and service providers to highlight key pain points and possible solutions at greenfield and established concessions. Day 2, Tuesday March 19th, will be dedicated for private business meetings, comprehensive workshops, panel discussions and plenty of focused networking. Some of the delegates attending this year's summit include: Marius Botha, Director of Projects for Barrick Gold; Ben De Vries, GM of Rossing Uranium; Renier Swart, Deputy Global Head of S&SD for Anglo American; Lemogang Pitsoe, GM Mining at Hernic Ferrochrome; and Barry Hodgkinson, VP Operations for Konkola Copper Mines. In addition to this stellar line-up, Tony Aubyn - CEO of Ghana's Chamber of Mines - presented a fantastic keynote on 'Benefit Sharing in Mineral Extraction' that outlined broader implications for all of Africa. Joe Thompson, Next Generation Mining Africa Summit Director for GDS International, the global events company behind the summit, said: "The leading mining operators and top service companies are once again joining forces to thrash out major challenges and best-in-breed solutions to ensure the African mining market remains competitive, buoyant and most of all - on track. Private, pre-qualified, one-on-one meetings will provide invaluable face time with key decision makers to get to the crux of major client/prospect pain points; whilst the extensive workshop programme will enable a fully interactive forum for sharing and learning over the two and a half days." He continues: "The summit provides the ideal setting and environment for heavyweights of the mining market to collaborate and pledge that no stone is left unturned when finding solutions to increase productivity and reduce downtime across their business units."