The twenty-fifth anniversary of the annual Investing in African Mining Indaba will have a major focus on how growth in Africa and African mining can be supported and achieved, says event organiser Mining Indaba content director Harry Chapman.
The theme of this year’s event is Championing Africa’s Sustainable Economic Growth, and it will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from February 4 to 7.
Mining Indaba MD Alex Grose notes that the organiser realises its responsibility in terms of the event influencing people and behaviour, and Chapman advances that the theme ties in with the responsibility to drive and support growth of the mining industries and economies in Africa.
“This is a bit of a step change for us as the main focus of the event has always been about meeting people and doing business, but we really wanted to overlay supporting the industry in a sustainable way,” Chapman tells Mining Weekly.
Grose mentions that the Mining Indaba aims to continue its growth of 2018 and to address the perception some people have of the Mining Indaba as uniform every year. He stresses that stakeholders need to be informed that the event is ever changing and is progressive.
Commenting on the recent and upcoming changes in mining laws and regulations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia and whether they will impact on event attendance, he says a dynamic industry necessitates discussion and networking.
Chapman reiterates this, adding that the evolution of the mining industry and related sectors provides more opportunities for consultation among stakeholders.
The organisers expect a 17% year-on-year increase in the investors who will attend the Indaba this year and Grose highlights that this “looks positive for the event and the industry”. More than 750 investors and dealmakers are expected to attend the Indaba.
The Investment Battlefield competition, which was launched in 2016 and will be held again this year, provides an opportunity for junior mining companies to pitch their projects to a panel of expert investors and compete for prizes to support the development of their projects.
This year, 24 mining companies below a $50-million market cap will pitch in a Dragon’s Den-style format to leading investor judges over three days. Judges include senior representatives from investment banking company JP Morgan Asset Management, investment management firms VanEck and Orion Resource Partners, and international financial institution the International Finance Corporation.
Mining Indaba awards the winner with a free exhibition stand and speaking slot at Mining Indaba 2020, as well as multiple publicity and investor relations service opportunities.
Further, for the first time, the Indaba will feature an entire day dedicated to battery metals. Chapman comments that the need for a strong focus on battery metals was observed when analysing stakeholder feedback and through more than 300 meetings and telephone calls that Mining Indaba had with stakeholders.
“Moreover, there is significant excitement about battery metals and it is a major trend currently; Africa is poised to benefit and achieve growth from it,” he enthuses.
Sustainability, innovation and growth strategies will also be talking points at the Indaba.
Days at the Indaba
The Ministerial Symposium will engage the most prominent mining CEOs and African mining Ministers in open discussions on February 3. Speakers include Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and World Bank energy and extractives global practice manager Christopher Sheldon.
On February 4, the Investment Battlefield competition will kick off.
The Battery Metals Day will be hosted on February 5 and Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo will deliver the opening keynote on the day.
On February 6, the Mining Indaba Intergovernmental Summit will feature open discussions between African and international governments about topics such as conflict minerals and the latest trends in responsible sourcing, as well as public– private partnerships for local economic development. Twenty African mining Ministers will deliver topical presentations, and delegates from Japan and India are also expected to be represented at the summit.
There is also a major focus on gender diversity, with more women actively participating throughout the event, Chapman notes. “This is something that is changing in the industry and we know that we have to change as an event as well.” Speakers include Mali Minister of Mines and Petroleum Lelenta Hawa Baba Ba and gold mining company Gold Fields chairperson Cheryl Carolus.
The last day of the event, February 7, will feature investor roundtables and the Young Leaders programme – in collaboration with business advisory firm Brunswick Group – which engages young people to attract the right skills set to the mining sector.
Meanwhile, platinum sponsors for Mining Indaba include chemicals group AECI, diversified miners Anglo American and Vedanta, mining and crushing company African Mining and Crushing, gold major Newmont Mining, the South African Department of Mineral Resources and the Australian government.
Gold sponsors for the event include global mining and construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, explosives company Orica, professional services firm Deloitte, construction company Mota-Engil Africa, management consulting company Boston Consulting Group and blasting solutions provider Solar Mining Services.
“Some of the major changes that have been made to the event resulted from engagements with stakeholders, and we hope to continue engaging with the industry to keep improving the event,” Chapman concludes.