A boost in commodity prices, an improved political outlook for South Africa and Zimbabwe and a greater appetite for investment in the mining sector has prompted new leads and partnerships since the Investing in African Mining Indaba.
The winds of change blowing across parts of southern Africa have also held promise.
“Political changes in South Africa and Zimbabwe in particular are very encouraging,” comments mining and energy leader for global audit and advisory firm Moore Stephens, Michael Simms.
“There is a lot of potential in Zimbabwe once things open up and investors are assured of geo-political issues, the robustness of regulations and protection for investors.”
Mining companies, investors and companies working with the industry have also continued to welcome assurances from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, that he is committed to finding a solution to the dispute over the Mining Charter and will consider the needs of all stakeholders and interests of industry and the country as a whole.
South Africa’s mining companies agreed in February to postpone a legal challenge to the government’s new rules for the industry, which they say are onerous and could cost many jobs.
“From a South African perspective, clarity around the Mining Charter is the single biggest factor influencing capital investment into our mining industry,” notes Moore Stephens South Africa mining leader Olivier Barbeau.
“By all accounts the uncertainty has substantially restricted capital inflows into South Africa and we have fallen behind others on the continent.
“We appreciate that President Ramaphosa has promised to give this a significant amount of attention,” he adds.
Expanding into the rapidly evolving sustainability space in Africa, which was a major feature at this year’s Mining Indaba, has also sparked opportunities.
“There has been a big push into environmentally sustainable mining. This continues to be under the microscope and may make all the difference in managing, operating and developing a leading mine,” comments Simms.
Networking at the Investing in African Mining Indaba has led to opportunities for many companies.
Moore Stephens has followed leads for future work, ranging from due diligence, corporate finance, tax and sustainability, as well as advising on international tax and transfer pricing issues when setting up mining operations in Africa..
Director of Moore Stephens Africa, Margie Alt, notes that the firms network was in a good position to harness the great opportunities in African mining, particularly with the strong outlook for the sector.