Mining Indaba back to live in Cape Town in 2022

Several mining operations in Africa can be considered as world leaders. Most of these companies will be present at Mining Indaba. In picture is Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen project in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Mining Indaba back to live in Cape Town in 2022

With covid-19 restrictions now significantly eased internationally – not least in South Africa – the Mining Indaba’s organisers, Hyve Group, expects to host at least 300 companies at its first live event since 2020, back in Cape Town, from 9 to 12 May 2022.

Over the past five years, Mining Indaba has attracted hundreds of mining companies of varying sizes and in all stages of explorationMining Indaba 2020, notwithstanding it being virtual due to the pandemic, was host to nearly 1000 mining company executives.

According to Simon Ford, Portfolio Director of Investing in African Mining Indaba, last year’s virtual event served as a thought leadership forum to address key industry issues. “It was essential and an excellent opportunity to connect our audience during a challenging period,” he says.

“It was always our goal to return to Cape Town as soon as circumstances allowed and welcome people back to a live event. With the 2022 event moving forward as a live, in-person event, there is much industry anticipation and excitement to get back to person-to-person engagements,” says Ford.

Core strategic remit

As its full name suggests, Investing in African Mining Indaba has a core strategic remit focused on bringing mining-related investment opportunities into the African continent. The conference provides a platform for mining majors, mid-tiers, and juniors to discuss key industry issues.

It also creates opportunities for exploration companies to network and engage with important investment stakeholders and governments, all under one roof. Mining Indaba remains especially important for greenfield project developers looking for investment capital,” says Ford.

“Also, for those who may be sourcing services such as airborne satellite surveys, ground-based geological and geophysical prospecting, surveying and other services.”

Extremely positive interest

Ford says interest in the 2022 event is extremely positive. “We are encouraged by the relaxation of restrictions across many geographies and the appetite to return to live events has undoubtedly returned. Our exhibition is on track to be sold out within the next couple of weeks, and our delegate numbers are tracking incredibly well, way ahead of our expectations,” he says.

“We know people are ready to get back to doing business face to face, and everyone is excited to be back in Cape Town.”

On the agenda: addressing global and African challenges

According to Ford the last two years have presented unique global challenges unseen at this massive scale in our modern era. This is particularly true in many of the developing economies on the African continent.

The question now is: what do we do to address them? Africa’s mining sector today is challenged with finding the best strategic direction to address collectively:

  • The ongoing pandemic
  • local and national economic recovery
  • climate change
  • supply chain crunches
  • securing battery metals; political disruption; inflation; and mining sustainability.

These, Ford says, are encapsulated in the overarching theme of this year’s Mining Indaba: “Evolution of African Mining: Investing in the Energy Transition, Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) and Economies”.

“These ‘E trends’ are at the very heart of mining’s role in Africa today, and they are all interlinked and interdependent. From the existential challenge of energy transition, which demands ESG rigour and, in turn, grows our economies. This is the evolution Mining Indaba 2022 will explore.”

Environmental and Social Governance

Ford acknowledges that ESG has become a “buzzword” – but not just in mining; also in finance, investment, logistics, infrastructure, and other key areas which feed into the mining value chain.

“As with all buzzwords, it quickly increases the risk of losing its impact and meaning. We are very conscious of not just throwing the ESG acronym around the various content streams at Mining Indaba because it happens to be the “catchphrase of the moment. From the start, we intended exploring what ESG means in practice for Africa’s mining operators, communities, and jurisdictions,” says  Ford.

“A few years ago, many people in the sector were talking about sustainability, in the same way, so Mining Indaba introduced its Sustainable Development Day to discuss what it means for everyone living in mining communities to those making massive investment decisions in the board room.

“Africa’s abundance of metals and minerals means that it is incredibly important to build an operator’s ESG framework in the right way.

“It is not a tick-box exercise or a footnote on an annual report; there is far too much at stake. The challenges range from the effects of climate change and decarbonisation to the social empowerment that employment creation can bring.

“From the political stability and economic growth opportunities that battery metals and precious metals can promise, to the long-term lifecycle of a mine and the reskilling of communities in the energy transition.

“So many mining projects are undertaken in remote regions around Africa with many stakeholders and fragile ecosystems to take into account, and we have seen how easy they can go wrong, but how necessary they are to get right for the growth of the communities, the environments, and the success of the projects themselves.”

CTICC the ideal venue

According to Ford, the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) is the ideal venue for hosting Hyve’s portfolio of events: Mining Indaba, Africa Oil Week and, for the first time this year, the Green Energy Africa Summit.

“Not only is it the perfect destination for international business travellers, but South Africa remains a powerhouse in African and global mining, so it has an incredibly strong strategic fit for us as well.

“We have recently signed three-year deals for all of our events with the CTICC and we look forward to a strong partnership with our host venue for many years beyond that.”

Mining Indaba’s return will undoubtedly be a cause for celebration by a multitude of the Mother City’s businesses – not least the CTICC, hotels, restaurants etc.

Event’s value-add to South Africa

Ford says that, after the last live Mining Indaba in 2020, an in-depth report study, using experts, was conducted to determine the event’s value-add to South Africa as a whole.

“We found that the event increased GDP in South Africa by R177-million, of which 80% was from international sources.

“We created 274 new jobs in South Africa, 233 of which were in the Western Cape and we helped increase national taxes by R22-million, R18-million of which was from international sources.

“So, our direct impact is certainly significant, and we are committed to increasing that further over the coming years through growing our events.

“With the South Africa launch of Green Energy Africa Summit later this year, we will see many more international delegates visit the country.”

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