Since 1996, meetings of national mining industry associations in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region took place in parallel with the meetings of the Technical Committee of Officials and the Committee of Mining Ministers.
Discussions concerned issues of common interest to the associations. A great deal of informal contact between mining industry association representatives and members of national delegations has resulted from these meetings.
At the meeting of the SADC Committee of Mining Ministers during June 1997 in Mbabane, Swaziland, the view was expressed that a mechanism had to be established to promote the relationship and an exchange of views between the SADC Mining Sector and the private sector. There was general support for interaction with the private sector.
Consequently a SADC delegation met with representatives of national mining industry associations at the Second Regional Conference of African Ministers responsible for the development and utilization of mineral and energy resources Durban during November 1997 to consider how a formal relationship could be established. The SADC delegation recommended that a regional mining industry association be established as a formal organisation with a constitution reflecting its structure and functions.
The representatives of the national associations agreed to pursue the establishment of such a formal mining industry association while the SADC delegation undertook to propose to the members of the Mining Sector Technical Committee that such an association be given formal representation on the Technical Committee with the standing opportunity to address the Committee of Mining Ministers. The national associations subsequently established the Mining Industry Association of Southern Africa (MIASA) in 1998.