The 2019 edition of Mining Indaba is expected to be bigger and better than ever before.
Not only will this be the 25th anniversary of the event, but it is also the year in which the implementation of the event’s turnaround strategy, aimed at taking the event back to its investment roots, will truly begin to bear fruit, CHANTELLE KOTZE writes.
“We have spent the past two years turning the ship around and have finally started driving it forward,” says Mining Indaba director of content Harry Chapman, who enthusiastically notes the return of the event’s core focus of being the convenor of the world’s largest mining investment conference that provides access to capital for African mining companies.
This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 1, 2019
Since implementing the turnaround strategy, the event’s team has made significant strides turning Mining Indaba back into the investment conference it once was.
Proof of this is in the number of exhibiting mining companies, which has increased significantly, says Chapman, who notes a 47% increase in attendance from mining company delegates and a 20% increase in international investors and analysts.
While the core focus of Mining Indaba is and will always be promoting investment and deal-making in Africa, the 2019 theme “Championing Africa’s sustainable economic growth” will provide delegates the platform around which to discuss the issue of sustainability in mining and support the industry in its drive to creating a sustainable mining industry of the future, says Chapman.
The Sustainability Development Day, to be held on Tuesday, 5 February, will open up the platform for discussions around the role of diversity, inclusion and local communities in the mining sector and will also provide the opportunity to discuss the newest and most disruptive sustainability-driven innovations in the industry.
“We believe that if we can provide a platform that encourages investment in mining projects and thought-provoking panel discussions that provide insights on how to create shared value for all stakeholders from Africa’s mineral wealth, then the mining industry as a whole will benefit,” says Chapman.
High-level speakers, including Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, South Africa’s Minister in the Presidency: planning, monitoring & evaluation; Aiden Davy, International Council on Mining & Metals COO; Mongezi Veti, Exxaro executive head of sustainability; and Casper Edmonds, International Labour Organisation head of the extractives, energy and manufacturing unit, will be among the panellists unpacking topics that include building transparency and trust, advancing diversity and inclusion, local content policies and transformation, besides others.
Improving on an already successful agenda
“We have made some big changes to this year’s event aimed at further supporting investment, and more specifically the investment into junior mining companies by housing all deal-making under one roof,” says Chapman.
In 2018, Mining Indaba launched the Junior Mining Showcase – an area for junior mining companies, dealmakers and investors to meet and interact. To expand on this, Mining Indaba will this year inaugurate the Investment Pavilion, an area that combines both the VIP Investor Lounge and the Junior Mining Showcase into one dynamic high-visibility, high-traffic area in a bid to provide even easier interaction and deal-making between investors and junior mining companies.
The key reason that most investors attend the conference is to learn about new and exciting investment opportunities being developed by junior mining companies in Africa, and according to Chapman, the dedicated space will enable these investors, junior and mid-tier mining companies to connect more intimately and efficiently.
The Investment Pavilion will be serviced by a dedicated concierge investor relations service to further aid the networking process by brokering meetings between mining companies and investors.
Meanwhile, Mining Indaba has also built into the event a dedicated Battery Metals Day on 5 February, with content focused around the electric vehicle revolution and how it is being powered by African resources like graphite, copper, cobalt and nickel and the risks to future growth due to changing battery technology.
“Our aim with the Battery Metals Day is to help close the gap between the companies producing the battery metals, the investors investing into these battery metal projects, the battery manufacturers producing the batteries and the vehicle manufacturers buying the batteries,” says Chapman.
“This will allow all stakeholders to share insights and help one another better understand the respective market sectors, how they work and on overcoming the gaps that exist,” he adds.
A highlight of former Mining Indaba editions has been the Investment Battlefield competition, where junior mining companies are given the opportunity to present themselves as leading emerging developers and miners.
In its third year, the competition provides African junior mining companies with a market capital of US$50 million or below, the opportunity to pitch their projects to a panel of judges comprising investors, live on the Main Stage of Mining Indaba, with live first-hand feedback from the investors themselves as a means to learn exactly what investors are looking for and how to increase their appeal.
Mining Indaba awards the winner with a free exhibition stand and speaking slot at Mining Indaba 2020 as well as multiple publicity and investor relations service opportunities.Previous winners include Thor Explorations (2018) and Consolidated Nickel Mines (2017).