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Where will you be?

It is with great sadness that I write my last editor’s note for 2020 off the back of hearing that the Investing in African Mining Indaba for next year has been cancelled.

It was to be expected, I suppose – a second wave of COVID-19 cases in Europe has delivered unprecedented new numbers, climbing with rapid speed, while other regions such as South America, North America, India and Russia have (at this stage) yet to find a way to curb the pandemic.

What this equates to is essentially a travelling nightmare – COVID-19 testing and self-isolation windows are a lot to absorb when catching a long haul flight for a conference – and I guess for most of us it is just not feasible or financially viable.

The event’s formal statement said the following: “For the last 27 years, Investing in African Mining Indaba has been about bringing the global mining community together and delivering world-class, face-to-face events. In our commitment and passion for the industry, we really hoped to make Mining Indaba happen early next year. Unfortunately, after discussions with our partners in South Africa and key stakeholders in the mining industry, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 edition of Mining Indaba. The event will now take place on 7-10 February 2022.”

So, while it’s a sad day in our history to officially record the cancellation of Mining Indaba in 2021, I believe the organisers have made the right call and I know the industry respects this decision.

Fortunately, there is light at the end of this tunnel for those of us who block out that week in February every year. In line with global trends, Mining Indaba will take to the internet waves to deliver a virtual event on 2 and 3 February 2021. “We recognise the role that Mining Indaba plays in connecting the global mining community and its significance in shaping the industry for the year ahead. This strategic event will feature free high-level content streamed online, including pioneering insights from the industry’s heavyweights, multi-stakeholder strategic conversations, keynote addresses and more.”

That gives me confidence that the month of February will still be our ‘Mining Indaba month’, all be it from the comfort of our homes or office desks. I will miss the networking, the cocktails, the lovely Cape Town weather and just connecting with new and familiar faces to chat about our industry. However, as they say, the show must go on – and so it will!

Conference aside, I hope the year has been palatable for you and that December will provide you with the time to rest, recover and reset for the new year ahead – no matter what we will face, I have every confidence that our industry will continue to prove its resilience and adaptability, setting us in good stead for whatever