The CopperBelts 2014 International Study Tour visited a selection of the most significant sediment-hosted copper provinces, deposits and ore styles in Southern and Central Africa, and Europe.
Participants had the option of taking either the full tour -or- any block of 3 or more days up to the full tour, as suited their budget, availability and interest.
Those commencing at the beginning of the Tour assembled in Johannesburg, South Africa, at 6:30 pm on the evening of Wednesday 30 April, 2014, at the meeting point advised by Porter GeoConsultancy (PGC) approximately two weeks prior to the start of the tour.
The full Tour technical program ended in Wroclaw, Poland, on the evening of Tuesday 20 May, 2014.
For those who took less than the full tour, start and end points and dates were advised on confirmation of registration. Alternate start and/or end points included Maun in Botswana, Lusaka, Solwezi, Chingola or Ndola in Zambia, Lubumbashi or Kolwezi in the DRC, or Wroclaw or Lubin in Poland.
During the tour, PGC arranged all surface travel and air charter, and booked all scheduled airline flights, i.e., between the start and end points of the block of days or full tour nominated by the participant.
Before and after the tour, each participant was responsible for all of their own accommodation and travel arrangements and costs to get to the start point, and from the end point.
For security and travel time reasons, an air charter was utilised for some of the visits in the DRC.
The Tour Fees included the cost of all surface travel from when each participant joined the tour to when they left, as well as all other costs associated with the tour, including development, organisation, escorting the tour, workshop venues, audio-visual equipment, expert consultants, mine visits, background literature, tour packs, introductory dinners, etc.
Air Fares for both scheduled airline and charter flights booked by PGC and flown by each participant between when the participant joins and leaves the tour were an additional charge.
Tour Fees and Air/Charter Fares had to be paid to PGC at the same time, and by the due date specified on the invoice (which will usually be 14 days after the date of the confirmation letter if within 2 months of tour commencement - but may be longer for early registrations), but no later than one month before the commencement of the Tour. In the event of late registration (when places still remain), fees and fares had to be received before the commencement of the block of days or full tour nominated by the participant.
The scheduled airline fares charged by PGC were estimated at the time of budgeting, with allowance for fuel surcharges, currency fluctuations and fare variations by the time of flying. Air charter fares were based on a conservative estimate of the number of passengers, with the same allowances as for scheduled airline fares. Where the final fare or cost per charter passenger paid by PGC is less than the estimated amount charged, the difference was to be refunded at the end of the tour. Conversely, if the actual fares were higher than those charged, the difference were invoiced after the tour.
Note: The fares listed on the tour brochure and registration form were based on the fully flexible, refundable economy fare for reservations that may be cancelled should participants withdraw after the booking is made, or parts of the tour do not proceed through lack of interest or cancellation by mines.
All accommodation reservations for each participant between the start and end dates of their tour were made by PGC. However, all accommodation costs had to be paid by the participants on checkout during the tour and NOT by PGC.
Participants were also responsible for paying for their meals (except the Introductory Dinner) and other personal incidentals while on tour.
As part of the tour, each participant received a comprehensive collection of literature to read prior to commencement or during the tour. These papers covered the regional geology and distribution of mineralisation in the areas being considered, as well as descriptions of the individual deposits studied and other selected examples in the regions visited.
Approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the tour, participants were provided with a detailed itinerary with accommodation information, including the street address, e-mail address, phone and fax numbers and tariff for each hotel. All they needed bring were their field gear (including steel toe cap safety boots), personal affects, and credit card/ATM cards or cash to pay for accommodation and meals.
Registrations that included visits within the DRC were closed on Sunday 9 March, so that appropriate documentation allowing visas to be granted before the start of the tour could be prepared. Registrations after that date were not considered, for those that needed, but did not hold a DRC visa. Registration were accepted for other parts of the tour after that date, while places remained, although the key sections of the tour were filled soon after.