Investment conference organiser Resources 4 Africa’s inaugural Junior Indaba aims to serve as a platform to highlight all the crucial issues faced by junior mining companies in Africa.
The conference will take place at the Turbine Hall, in Newtown, Johannesburg, from June 3 to 4 and bookings for the event have already opened.
Resources 4 Africa says the strategic importance of exploration and junior mining in Africa will be given centre stage at the Junior Indaba.
“High on the agenda will be the global capital crisis and the much-needed new and innovative global solutions.”
The company adds that CEOs and project owners will be able to showcase assets at the event, while investors will be able to assess the merits of junior miners’ offerings and explore potential investment opportunities.
“Investors will also be able to hear how companies are performing in various African countries, such as Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Africa and Ghana,” says Resources 4 Africa.
The full range of commodity sectors will be discussed, including, but not limited to, bulk commodities, base metals, industrial minerals, gold, precious metals, diamonds and platinum-group metals.
Moreover, Resources 4 Africa notes that the Junior Indaba will also be taking a “much closer look” at how international mining economies have created thriving junior sectors.
The issue of why Africa is not attracting more of the global exploration spend will also be explored by presenters.
Local mining consultancy The MSA Group has also come out in support of this new event and is the conference’s lead sponsor.
“Africa’s mineral endowment is exceptional, with large tracts of the continent unexplored. Economic and political development in sub-Saharan Africa is opening up new opportunities for exploration and mining,” says The MSA Group MD Keith Scott.
He believes that it is vital that mining industry stakeholders understand and share their views about what they believe is needed to foster exploration activity in Africa.
“This will enable a framework to be developed to best promote investment and stimulate the junior mining sector, and thereby create a better environment for new entrants,” states Scott.
Resources 4 Africa CEO Paula Munsie adds that the need for better representation of junior miners in South Africa was a message that came across “loud and clear” at the company’s flagship event last year, the 2014 Joburg Indaba, and was one that was endorsed by Mineral Resources Minister Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi.
“The call has come for juniors to be better organised and represented in dialogues between industry, government and labour,” she states.
Additionally, Joburg Indaba chairperson Bernard Swanepoel asserts that, “it is the junior miners that can unlock the potential of the minerals under the ground, but this portion of the industry has not been properly organised and represented”.
He also does not believe that tax regimes [in Africa] have been sufficiently “investor friendly” to entice the “high-risk” dollars that are required to undertake many exploration projects.
“The performance of junior-to-midtier mining companies currently in production will also be discussed, and – as an incentive – we are offering free access to active investors who attend this event,” Munsie concludes.