SEC­TOR FO­CUS

Min­ing Ind­aba 2018: Africa’s Premier Deal­Mak­ing Fo­rum

Africa Outlook - - Contents - Writer: Matthew Staff

The event that the African min­ing in­dus­try needs

Since Euromoney ac­quired the In­vest­ing in Min­ing Ind­aba con­fer­ence, the es­teemed gath­er­ing’s cre­dence has es­ca­lated to new heights, and in 2018 the up­ward tra­jec­tory con­tin­ued as a 15 per­cent in­crease in at­ten­dees came to­gether to dis­cuss the big­gest trends in con­ti­nen­tal min­ing and re­sources.

Ar­riv­ing from as many as 95 dif­fer­ent coun­tries - again an in­crease on 2017’s 84 - the global sig­nif­i­cance of the event is af­firmed be­yond doubt in a cli­mate cry­ing out for knowl­edge shar­ing and in­no­va­tion. Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of at­ten­dees was a sim­i­larly pos­i­tive trend as well though, with 37 per­cent em­a­nat­ing from the min­ing ex­ec­u­tive world, 17 per­cent com­pris­ing in­vestors, and 25 per­cent from Gov­ern­men­tal po­si­tions; some­thing which Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Alex Grose be­lieves con­trib­uted to the best in­stal­ment of Min­ing Ind­aba yet.

“Since Euromoney ac­quired Min­ing Ind­aba, the event has un­der­gone sig­nif­i­cant changes and in­vest­ment to take it back to a fo­cused deal-mak­ing fo­rum while sup­port­ing the needs of Africa’s min­ing in­dus­try,” he says. “In 2018 there was a more de­lib­er­ate bal­ance be­tween in­vestors, min­ing com­pa­nies, gov­ern­ment and ser­vice providers, and this re­ally came to fruition with fea­tures like the Ju­nior Min­ing Show­case where 50 ju­nior min­ing com­pa­nies, all with projects in Africa, were for the first time hosted in the mid­dle of the event in a fo­cused deal-mak­ing area.”

Head of In­vestor Re­la­tions, Kael O’Sul­li­van adds: “The In­vestor Re­la­tion pro­gramme was also ex­panded in 2018, pro­vid­ing in­vestors with even more meet­ings with min­ing com­pa­nies across the week.”

For the first time ever, Min­ing

Ind­aba also worked in tan­dem with

com­mu­nity and civil so­ci­ety groups in 2018 to de­fine a com­mon vision for sus­tain­able devel­op­ment in the con­ti­nen­tal sec­tor.

“This meant the 2018 event played host to even more di­a­logue than ever be­fore,” en­thuses Head of Con­tent, Harry Chap­man.

Africa Out­look spoke with Grose, O’Sul­li­van and Chap­man about the key take-home mes­sages from this year’s ground­break­ing Ind­aba.

Africa Out­look (AfO): What spe­cific in­dus­try trends dic­tated the key talk­ing points at this year’s event and in what ways did the event ad­dress these?

Alex Grose (AG): The themes of any year are driven by the re­search done with all the key stake­holder groups in the months lead­ing up to the event. This year the in­dus­try told us that ex­plo­ration projects were be­gin­ning to shoot up across the con­ti­nent once more, which is why our over­rid­ing theme for the whole event was pro­vid­ing a plat­form for sus­tain­able ju­nior, mid-tier and ma­jor growth.

For that rea­son our In­vest­ment Bat­tle­field was ex­panded to en­able 22 ju­nior min­ing com­pa­nies to pitch their projects to lead­ing in­vestors, and hosted the fi­nal on the Main Stage.

Harry Chap­man (HC): Sus­tain­able devel­op­ment was a key theme at the 2018 Min­ing Ind­aba, be­ing dis­cussed not only at the packed Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment day on Tues­day, 6 Fe­bru­ary, but also fea­tur­ing in many con­ver­sa­tions through­out the event. Ad­dress­ing the lack of trust be­tween com­mu­ni­ties and min­ing com­pa­nies, look­ing ahead to com­mu­nity en­gage­ment and work­ing to­gether to de­fine a sus­tain­able vision of Africa’s min­ing sec­tor, these themes came up reg­u­larly through­out the week, and is

clearly go­ing to con­tinue to be a big theme go­ing for­wards.

Given the chang­ing po­lit­i­cal land­scape across the con­ti­nent, a key theme at the event was co­op­er­a­tion and knowl­edge shar­ing be­tween gov­ern­ments. The In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Sum­mit hosted panel ses­sions be­tween African and non-African gov­ern­ments, to en­sure that African gov­ern­ments have im­proved in­ter­ac­tion with gov­ern­ments out­side the con­ti­nent.

AfO: Could you also talk me through some of the speak­ers at Min­ing Ind­aba 2018 and what you feel they brought to the ta­ble in terms of in­dus­try knowl­edge and in­ter­na­tional ex­per­tise?

“For five days the world’s most in­flu­en­tial in­vestors, CEOs from the world’s largest min­ing com­pa­nies, min­ing min­is­ters from a ma­jor­ity of African na­tions, gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tion from key coun­tries, and top me­dia brands all meet to share in­sight and knowl­edge with each other.”

HC: For 2018 the Main Stage moved away from static pre­sen­ta­tions, and in­stead fo­cused on in­ter­views with in­dus­try vi­sion­ar­ies to give the au­di­ence the op­por­tu­nity to re­ally delve into their wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence. We were de­lighted to host a fire­side chat be­tween Anil Agar­wal, Group Chair­man, Vedanta Re­sources, and

Evy Ham­bro, Chief In­vest­ment Of­fi­cer, Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Black­Rock, where they dis­cussed strate­gies for long-term share­holder value and where growth can be found in the min­ing sec­tor.

One high­light in­cluded H.E.Oluse­gun Obasanjo, the for­mer Pres­i­dent of Nige­ria and Chair­man of the Bren­thurst Foun­da­tion and au­thor of the Zam­bezi Pro­to­col, who de­liv­ered a key­note

ad­dress en­ti­tled “Part­ner­ship: A New Nar­ra­tive for Africa’s Min­ing In­dus­try”.

AG: With the in­tro­duc­tion of the In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Sum­mit, Min­ing Ind­aba saw the num­ber of min­is­ters speak­ing on the pro­gramme in­crease from 28 in 2017, to 36 in 2018. African coun­tries rep­re­sented in­cluded An­gola, Malawi, Ghana, Zam­bia, Botswana and Sene­gal, with global rep­re­sen­ta­tion from Venezuela, Rus­sia and Ecuador.

Kael O’Sul­li­van (KOS): 2018 also marked the in­tro­duc­tion of Min­ing 2050, fo­cus­ing on where com­pa­nies should be in­vest­ing in the age of dis­rup­tion. In­dus­try lead­ers such as Michelle Ash (Chief In­no­va­tion Of­fi­cer, Bar­rick) and Dono­van Waller (Group Head of Tech­nol­ogy, An­glo American) dis­cussed the lat­est dis­rup­tive tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion strate­gies.

AfO: What other new and fresh im­pe­tuses were added to the Ind­aba sched­ule this year?

AG: The Ju­nior Min­ing Fo­rum pro­vided emerg­ing min­ing com­pa­nies with the op­por­tu­nity to present and take part in panel dis­cus­sions with lead­ing ex­perts across the three days.

HC: 2018 also saw the Franco-Mine pro­gramme move to within the Min­ing Ind­aba pro­gramme, a plat­form for ex­changes in French, dis­cussing re­cent or planned changes to min­ing codes in African coun­tries, as well as re­cent de­vel­op­ments and best prac­tices.

KOS: Ad­di­tion­ally, the World Gold Coun­cil took part in Min­ing Ind­aba for the fir st time in many years, host­ing a ses­sion and re­cep­tion high­light­ing gold’s value as a strate­gic as­set and its pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tions to economies and so­ci­ety, at­tract­ing key fig­ures from across the African min­ing sec­tor.

AfO: From a more gen­eral in­dus­try per­spec­tive, what do you feel are the big­gest chal­lenges and trends in­flu­enc­ing the min­ing in­dus­try in Africa at present, and how do you see these is­sues un­fold­ing over the next 12 months?

AG: This is an ex­tremely ex­cit­ing time for min­ing in Africa: Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa has re­cently said that Zim­babwe may lift the 51 per­cent own­er­ship/ “in­dig­in­i­sa­tion” re­quire­ment for plat­inum and di­a­mond min­ing com­pa­nies. In An­gola, newly elected Pres­i­dent, Joao Lourenco has also made moves to win the trust and sup­port of the global in­vest­ment com­mu­nity. An­gola sent a min­is­te­rial del­e­ga­tion to Min­ing Ind­aba.

Of course, in South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa re­turned from the

World Eco­nomic Fo­rum say­ing that “In­vestors are ap­plaud­ing the dawn of a new era and are wait­ing for us to fol­low through with re­forms and pol­icy changes”. He has also said that SA can­not af­ford to miss out on the commodities boom that could un­lock the min­ing in­dus­try.

Our aim at Min­ing Ind­aba is to pro­vide a plat­form where the sec­tor can de­bate the big is­sues, to en­able con­nec­tions to be made, and most im­por­tantly to cre­ate the ‘space’ for these en­gage­ments. We are min­ing event pro­fes­sion­als, not min­ing an­a­lysts. How­ever, we bring to­gether many com­men­ta­tors and ex­perts at Min­ing Ind­aba who dis­cussed this and made pre­dic­tions about the year ahead.

AfO: Sim­i­larly, from the Min­ing Ind­aba’s per­spec­tive, what are your as­pi­ra­tions and ex­pec­ta­tions for Min­ing Ind­aba mov­ing for­ward and how would you like to see it grow from 2018 on­wards?

AG: Min­ing Ind­aba is a global plat­form. For five days the world’s most in­flu­en­tial in­vestors, CEOs from the world’s largest min­ing com­pa­nies, min­ing min­is­ters from a ma­jor­ity of African na­tions, gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tion from key coun­tries, and top me­dia brands all meet to share in­sight and knowl­edge with each other. No other event cre­ates the net­work­ing plat­form that is Min­ing Ind­aba.

Look­ing to the fu­ture, we want to con­tinue to de­liver the event that the African min­ing in­dus­try needs, and con­nect min­ing com­pa­nies with in­vestors. We be­lieve that when min­ing com­pa­nies source in­vest­ment, not only do the com­pa­nies them­selves ben­e­fit, but Africa also ben­e­fits.

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