Excitement reigns among members of the mining industry as for the first time in many months they prepare to meet facetoface at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba, which is to take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from May 9 to 12.
With many new trends to discuss and key developments coming under the microscope, the organisers have provided a quick guide to “making the most of this year’s event”.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has left many industries battered, mining remains a mainstay of the economy. But while the industry celebrates banner years, it is also clear that a number of pressing issues need to be discussed if the industry is to continue on this upward trajectory – and this is “precisely why industry players cannot afford to be absent from this all-important convention”.
“With key decision-makers all meeting in person for the first time in many months, this is one event that cannot be missed,” states travel agency FCM Global Travel GM Bonnie Smith.
She adds that this face-to-face platform creates the possibility of probing critical issues in far greater depth than is possible online.
Coming under the Spotlight
Among these issues are factors such as the industry’s response to climate change and the potential for reducing emissions. Delegates will also have the chance to explore issues regarding policy, while relationships with communities will also come under the microscope.
Additionally, the question of energy will be raised, with delegates debating strategies for growth in an environment that is constantly evolving under the pressure of the pandemic, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and new technologies.
The Personal Touch
While access to the information on the topics offered by the Indaba is extremely useful, it is the panel discussions and workshops that create opportunities for developing and sharing key insights that make attendance at this event “especially valuable”.
“We cannot deny the convenience of online platforms and the value they added at a time when travel was difficult, but there is no replacement for the quality of personal interactions,” Smith notes.
“Mining, in particular, is an industry where face-to-face discussions benefit players who are grappling with complex matters. This may be why members of the mining industry have continued to travel despite the rigours and complications introduced by Covid-19 protocols and regulations.”
Harnessing the Power of Networking
For delegates who are intent on making the most of these meetings, a little networking is essential. One of the highlights of the Mining Indaba is the Business Matchmaking Platform that has been especially created by the organisers.
However, delegates who simply want to strengthen relationships with other players – rather than identify likely financiers or projects – are advised to research the attendees and speakers ahead of time, pinpointing those who may be of interest.
As Smith points out, “knowing who you would like to engage with and having a clear objective for when you do so helps you avoid the helicopter approach; hoping that the people you talk to by chance are able to add value in some way”.
She also adds that it is a good idea to attend as many dinners or other events that have been arranged for delegates as possible since this will increase opportunities to make useful contacts. She stresses that it is important to remember to follow up with an email after the event.
Nailing the Logistics
Smith notes that if one’s goal is to meet other industry players, it could be helpful to stay at a hotel that is in close proximity to the venue, as this is certain to be popular with other delegates.
“The Indaba is hosted at the CTICC, which is conveniently located on Cape Town’s Foreshore. This means that there are many excellent hotels within a close distance.” The CTICC is also close to Cape Town’s famed V&A Waterfront, a favourite among visitors to the city and home to many excellent restaurants and shops. A highlight is the Watershed where visitors can peruse highend items made by local designers.
The Waterfront offers several interesting experiences. It is, for instance, the departure point for tours to the World Heritage Site of Robben Island where former President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27years. Smith advises that visitors to Cape Town set aside at least five days to explore the beautiful city’s many attractions and to take in sights such as the colourful Bo-Kaap, Table Mountain, the Winelands and the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
She advises anyone attending future Indabas to consult a travel consultant before finalising their booking. “Cape Town – and South Africa for that matter – is a fascinating place with an exciting blend of cultures, wonderful scenic attractions and a gripping history, and an experienced travel consultant will help you compile an itinerary that enables you to experience the very best of what’s on offer while simplifying logistics so that you are able to make the most of your time at the conference,” Smith concludes.