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Mining Indaba 2024 –recognised as a platform for positive disruptive change

4th March 2024

     

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The annual Investing in African Mining Indaba which took place in Cape Town, 5 to 8 February, presented a groundswell from governments, mining companies, investors and service providers to drive positive change in the industry. 

Celebrating its 30th anniversary and marking three decades of commitment to Africa’s mining industry, the theme for Mining Indaba 2024 was 'Embracing the power of positive disruption: A bold new future for African mining' – designed to encourage and support the change and disruption the African mining industry needs to move forward. 

Insights from CEOs of Africa’s foremost mining companies were shared on the Disruptive Discussions stage where they spoke of their strategies for introducing positive transformation and disruptions to the industry. The focus was not only on harnessing Africa’s vast mineral wealth, but on the challenges mining companies faced such as poor infrastructure and energy supply and governments' willingness to make mining viable. Discussions also focused on how to ensure that the benefits from mining are shared across the value chain and the transformative power of mining companies in fostering innovation and sustainability. 

Mining Indaba did not shy away from the hard discussions with panel discussions throughout the four-day event, focused on critical issues affecting mining and the positive disruptive change needed to drive innovation to unlock Africa’s mining sector potential for the benefit of all stakeholders and role players. 

In a press lounge panel discussion on “combating crime and corruption in mining” which is a critical issue of concern for companies and investors, all three speakers agreed that it can only be dealt with through collaboration and spoke about their company’s initiatives with other role players. Dr Mashego Mashego, Executive Director: Stakeholder Relations and Corporate Affairs at Harmony and Stephan Bullock, Head of Sustainability at Anglo American Platinum, both detailed the work being done with the Minerals Council, SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority to address crime and corruption. Dr Mashego addressed 

the issue of illegal mining and the effect it has on mining companies, employees and communities, while Werner Duvenhage, Managing Director at Richards Bay Minerals addressed procurement issues and the need for transparency in their community Trusts and with Trust participants. 

Climate change remains a critical issue of our time and in the wake of COP28, the global mining industry is at the heart of the transition to green energy both in terms of addressing the reduction in carbon emissions by energy heavy consumption mining companies, to how they address the huge demand for green minerals and metals in other industries. In a Mining Indaba press lounge panel discussion “What COP28 means for mining” Anglo American Head of Sustainability Katie Ferguson highlighted the company's ambitious targets in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. Adam Matthews, Chief Responsible Investment Officer of the Church of England Pensions, focused on the expectations of investors adding that they had to take a long-term view and encourage mining companies to take a responsible credible path to a net zero future. Beyers Nel, COO Harmony Gold outlined the company’s response to climate change and said Harmony Gold had already installed 30 MW of renewable energy that provided 6% of Harmony’s peak power needs and they were looking at adding another 137 MW that would cater for an additional 24% of its needs. Dr Busia from Green Africa Minerals said a key outcome of the COP28 meeting was the establishment of a loss and damage fund that would help compensate developing nations for the impact of climate change and the need for Africa to capitalise and do better in terms of green metals. John Mulligan, from the World Gold Council, spoke about the need for sectors to collaborate and come up with innovative, collaborative approaches. Michelle Manook, World Coal Association emphasised the need to reframe the debate about coal’s role in the energy transition. 

Throughout Mining Indaba, several key themes emerged, including the importance of Africa's resources in fueling the future needs of the world, and the power of positive disruption in driving sustainable growth in revolutionising the mining sector. Mining Indaba 2024 also once again proved to be the platform where deals are cemented. Rio Tinto's Simandou Project in Guinea, one of the world’s great iron ore projects, after decades in development stage will now progress thanks to collaboration between key private and government stakeholders. Highlighting the importance of the Simandou project to Guinea, Gerards Rheinberger, MD of Rio Tinto Simandou, shared the panel with Moosa Cisse, the Guinean Minister of the Economy and Finance and the governor of the Guinean central bank, Karamo Kaba. 

Another highlight of Mining Indaba 2024 included the first Mining Automotive and Electronics Club which saw a variety of automotive and tech-oriented sessions that delivered a new audience to Indaba. Sessions showcased the true importance of transparent supply chains for companies that will drive a just energy transition. This club represents the start of a new venture, bringing together companies from the automotive and electronic sectors participating in Mining Indaba 2024. The goal is to establish valuable business relationships and deals within the global downstream market. Comprising key stakeholders, the association collaborates at the event and throughout the year to create a compelling value proposition enabling the sectors to achieve their business objectives through active engagement. 

The Mining Innovation & Research Battlefield returned in 2024 and after impressive pitches, our expert panel selected Grace Akinyi, Founder of Women In Mining Kenya the 2024 winner. Convened by the Development Partner Institute (DPI) and Investing in African Mining Indaba, the Battlefield is a high-profile platform to unearth innovative solutions to mining’s intractable challenges. 

Mining Indaba, for the past two years, has given junior miners the platform to compete for investor funding in the ‘Investment Battlefield’. Mark Strizek, MD of Tietto Minerals impressed the judges with their entry: Fast-tracking the development of the Abujar Gold Project and emerged as the ultimate Battlefield winner. The project is located approximately 30km from the major regional city of Daloa in central western Côte D’Ivoire. The current resource stands at 45.5Mt @ 1.5g/t Au for 2.15Moz of contained gold. 

Mining Indaba 2024 welcomed some 9,900 delegates which is a 20% increase on attendance from 115 countries, including 1,200 investors and dealmakers. Added to this, 111 senior government ministers and officials from 74 countries attended, plus three Heads of State H.E Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, H.E Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia and H.E. Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, Prime Minister Democratic Republic of Congo. The mining industry was well represented, with 1,400 attending from mining companies and 320 exhibitors. The new Junior Miners Day and Investor Day programmes which were introduced in 2024 had phenomenal attendance with roundtable sessions over-subscribed. Mining Indaba once again proved that it is not only the largest gathering of global mining industry role players but also the platform where innovative solutions and future strategies in the mining sector are defined and put into action. 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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