"We believe technology should enhance, not replace, the role of geologists in exploration."

Simon Meadows Smith

MANAGING DIRECTOR, SEMS EXPLORATION

January 30, 2024

Can you provide an overview of the countries SEMS Exploration will be focusing on this year?

The company will focus on several countries in the upcoming year, with a strong emphasis on West Africa and key projects like the Sela mine. Additionally, SEMS Exploration is exploring opportunities in newer locations such as Guinea, Mozambique, Central Africa, and North Africa, with Egypt as a notable focus.

There seems to be a shift from gold exploration to lithium exploration. What are the driving factors behind this transition, especially considering the demand for strategic minerals?

The shift from gold to lithium exploration is notable, even with a high gold price. Junior exploration companies are diversifying their portfolios with lithium assets due to the increasing demand for strategic minerals, particularly lithium. This shift has become a significant part of SEMS Exploration's work.

Could you highlight some recent projects or firms you've worked with, particularly in the lithium exploration sector?

SEMS Exploration has established strong relationships with various companies involved in lithium exploration. Notable collaborations include projects in Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, and Nigeria, where we have supported lithium exploration efforts.

SEMS Exploration operates across 21 African countries. Do you have a target country for future expansion, and how do you decide where to focus your growth efforts?

While we have an expansion strategy, it is crucial to remain financially prudent and responsive to market conditions. We aim to strike a balance between our corporate strategy and market dynamics. As for future expansion, potential locations are being considered, but decisions will be based on opportunities that align with our long-term goals. We prioritize establishing long-term contracts with clients before considering permanent office setups.

There is growing interest in applying new technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning in mining. How does SEMS Exploration approach these technologies? 

While SEMS Exploration acknowledges the potential of technologies like artificial intelligence, we emphasize the importance of maintaining a balance between technology and field expertise. Sound geological knowledge and field experience remain essential. While we are open to utilizing AI for tasks like database management, we believe technology should enhance, not replace, the role of geologists in exploration.

In a competitive exploration market, why should mining firms consider SEMS Exploration as their partner?

SEMS Exploration offers several advantages to mining firms. With over 20 years of experience and extensive local knowledge, we operate efficiently and cost-effectively. We prioritize investments in the ground rather than infrastructure until significant resources are established. We are willing to share risks with investors and have already invested in infrastructure, making it easier for clients to enter new markets and achieve their exploration objectives. Our goal is to provide a sustainable and valuable partnership to clients.

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