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Bilateral discussions on challenges held

An image depicting Quintin Hobbs

QUINTIN HOBBS Hobbs expects the discussions at the Mining Indaba to focus on several key themes, including ESG, capital raising, transparency and the impact of technology on the African mining sector

26th January 2024

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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To help its mining clients navigate sector challenges, advisory and professional services firm Ernst and Young (EY) will host bilateral discussions at its V&A Waterfront office, in Cape Town, and will also moderate and participate in various panel discussions at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba.

Held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, from February 5 to 8, EY has been an active participant in the Indaba since its inception, having been part of the journey for almost two decades, says EY Africa strategy and transactions leader Quintin Hobbs.

“We see Mining Indaba as a key forum to interact with our clients, as well as to share insights on the future of the industry,” he says, adding that the Indaba is a vital platform to help attract capital into Africa.

Hobbs expects the outcome of discussions at the Indaba to highlight several key themes – of which a key one is the increasing scrutiny by stakeholder groups, particularly about environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues, whereby miners will need to balance ESG priorities with other business goals, including productivity.

“A number of miners are now focused on achieving net-positive impact, with significant benefits for those that get it right, including improved access to capital, a healthier talent pipeline and a stronger licence to operate.”

Capital has become more important as there is competition within the mining sector for investment amid incentives to accelerate the exploration and development of minerals and metals vital to the energy transition.

The mining sector has, thus, witnessed a shift from a short-term focus on returns to a long-term pursuit of value, encouraged by recognition that longer-term investment horizons are required to meet 2050 net zero carbon emissions goals, he adds.

Hobbs also expects the theme of building trust and articulating value so as to evolve the mining sector’s brand – requiring transparency – to be highlighted at the Indaba.

Miners, therefore, need to adequately articulate the financial and nonfinancial value they create for investors and near-mine communities, creating and communicating a bigger, bolder vision of legacy beyond life-of-mine to demonstrate companies’ appropriate societal commitment.

Meanwhile, inflationary pressure has also fast-tracked technology development, as miners focus on digital tools that can accelerate productivity, with the pace of digital transformation highlighting the growing importance of cybersecurity to keep digital systems safe, he adds.

“The power of EY is our convening ability. We service almost all the miners in Africa, either in the capacity of auditor or adviser and consultant; we have a broad and deep visibility on the cutting edge of industry development. This enables us to collate and share insight to the industry. Part of our role is to share best practice so that mining in Africa can thrive,” Hobbs concludes.

Edited by Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

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