Interest in Africa’s mineral potential is returning and there is a growing confidence in the future of the resources sector in Africa and in Africa–Australia relations, says organiser of the Africa Down Under (ADU) conference, Australian magazine publisher, Paydirt Media.
The annual event has grown into the largest African mining-focused event outside the continent, says Paydirt, which will host the fifteenth ADU from September 6 to 8 at the Pan Pacific Hotel, in Perth, Western Australia.
To capture the complexities of African mining issues, the ADU programme will feature in-depth discussions involving experts in the fields of security, infrastructure and project financing, which will provide a vibrant, inclusive forum for discussion, networking and deal-making, while raising awareness of the resource opportunities throughout Africa.
A key addition to the forum this year is the introduction of Paydirt’s business matchmaking initiative called Mandjar: The Meeting Point, which it says offers “unprecedented value to ADU sponsors”.
Mandjar will enhance participation by facilitating one-on-one meetings between mining companies and institutional investors, financial sector executives, analysts, bankers and brokers, as well as asset and fund managers.
A dedicated online platform will be available to ADU sponsors and qualified investors. This initiative has been created to help sponsors make the most of their networking opportunities throughout the conference and come face-to-face with investors, enabling them to showcase their growth strategies to key stakeholders within the mining investment and finance fraternity.
Mandjar will offer all this in addition to the benefits already afforded to ADU sponsors, namely the opportunity to tell their story on an unrivalled global platform, unique access to key African and Australian government representatives, the exchange of ideas with key mining project developers and the opportunity to build relationships with potential joint venture partners.
While Mandjar will add another dimension to ADU this year, a pillar of the conference’s success has been the continued strong support of African and Australian government representatives.
“As we begin to see a resurgence in the global resources sector, the importance of ADU continues to be reflected in the number of high-profile attendees we welcome to Australia’s mining capital each year,” says Paydirt.
ADU has become a must-attend event for government delegations and senior-ranking officials looking to enhance their respective sectors through high-level interactions with key players responsible for driving development of the mining sector across Africa, Paydirt states.
Confirmed government officials attending ADU include Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan, who will give the opening address, and Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, who will give a keynote address.
Also expected to be in attendance are South Africa’s Mineral Resources Minister, Mosebenzi Zwane; Ghana’s Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John-Peter Amewu; Guinea’s Mines and Geology Minister, Abdoulaye Magassouba; Equatorial Guinea’s Mines and Hydrocarbons Minister, Gabriel Obiang Lima; and Nigeria’s Mines and Steel Development Minister, Dr Kayode Fayemi.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Mining, Dan Kazungu; Ethiopia’s Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Ato Meqassa; Zambia’s Mines and Mineral Development Minister, Christopher Yaluma; and Mali’s Mines Minister, Professor Tiémoko Sanagare, will also attend.
Others encouraged to attend the ADU are mining executives, financiers and analysts, investors, media companies, mining service providers and suppliers, and mining consultants.
Major sponsors of the event are Australian gold miner Resolute Mining and financial solutions provider to the metals and mining industry Northcott Capital, while Canadian mining and metals company First Quantum Minerals is sponsoring the Ministerial dinner.
Junior sponsors for the event include ASX-listed exploration company Kibaran Resources, African gold-focused exploration and development company Cardinal Resources, international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, gold-copper explorer West African Resources, graphite development company Battery Minerals, Ghana-focused gold explorer and developer Azumah Resources and gold and copper exploration and development company Kefi Minerals.