Dedicated To the juniors
With a new decade comes a new approach to doing things and the February edition of Mining Review Africa represents this very concept.
In light of our distribution at PDAC in Toronto, Canada, my team has dedicated this entire issue to the junior mining sector. We take a look at a few miners that fall within this category and how they are upholding the name and reputation of everything a junior stands for.
Beyond this we have delved into all the major influences affecting how a junior operates and potentially develops and/or explores their piece of ground. Having explored (excuse the pun) the most prominent elements that such companies must consider, I’ve realised the following:
The life of a junior miner today is vastly different from that of one just five or 10 years ago. The greatest challenge back then was determining if the asset you had found/acquired was economically feasible, particularly if your spot was in a very remote location.
Commodity prices of course always count – today and back then.
These undoubtedly remain priority agenda items, but that is only the beginning. Juniors must now battle it out to secure finance in a market which no longer considers mining a definite return on investment. Beyond this, a junior must secure a social licence to operate – perhaps always something to consider but this has now become important enough to halt a project in its track.
In a nutshell, a social licence to operate means uplifting local economies through employment and training to ensure long-term livelihoods. It also more recently means considering the environment, not just in the way you mine your pit but also in the process you opt for to reduce water consumption, CO2 footprints, etc.
Of course, you must also win favour with the government, most of which (in Africa) are becoming more informed about how they want their resources to be developed for the benefit of their own countries. Combine all these factors [repetition] and you realise just how tough juniors have it.
But… fear not – despite the added pressure of being a junior, they can still be found in abundance across Africa, determined to build that new mine successfully and in a fully compliant manner. Let’s also not forget that they do represent the future of mining so I’m happy to acknowledge their hard work and efforts in sustaining the industry in the long-term. May you all prosper in a year that holds potential promise.
Looking forward to seeing many of you in snowy Canada in March.