Investing in African Mining Indaba 2023 Special Edition

Unlocking African Mining Investment: Stability, Security, and Supply

Simon Ford, the Portfolio Director of Hyve Group, fields questions from Mining Business Africa (MBA) on the relevance of the 2023 Investing in African Mining Indaba’s theme to contemporary trends in African mining, as well as the in-person events.

MBA: After a two-year hiatus, the Investing in Mining Indaba returned in 2022. How is the mining industry’s response to this year’s event?

SF: Overall, the response has been extremely positive. We saw a record-breaking Indaba in May 2022 that set the tone for the industry and for post-pandemic events as we lead up to February 2023. We are seeing a lot of early commitment and we are encouraged by the interest we have already received. With commodity prices remaining strong, and demand for critical minerals, battery metals and rare earths accelerating we can expect this to translate to another bumper turnout and we are excited to be back to our regular dateline in February.

MBA: What changes have you introduced to ensure that the event meets delegates’ expectations and is more relevant to the current trends in the global mining sector?

SF:It is wonderful to be able to gather, once more, in Cape Town for the world’s largest mining investment event and as always, we are hoping for a blockbuster lineup of speakers, including key government leaders and policymakers, corporate leadership, investors and thought leaders. With the Mining Indaba’s integration of 121 Group, we are in an even stronger position to serve our thousands of delegates with bespoke meeting programmes between investors and junior miners as part of their Mining Indaba experience.

One particular programme we are excited about for 2023 is the Explorers Showcase, where we hope to showcase early-stage explorers through presentations and core samples to help stimulate those much-needed conversations with investors. This ensures we can now claim to be driving investment into every stage of the mining production cycle through explorers, to juniors and on to mid-tiers and major mining companies.

It’s a great initiative, supported by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, South Africa, and will also help to support their exploration drive. To complement this, we will run the Junior ESG Forum as well as our ESG Awards. Please also look out for our new dedicated area for Junior Miners, aptly named the Junior MINE.

For the first time in 2022, we held our dedicated Infrastructure & Supply Chain Forum bringing together the vital mining supply chain companies with senior mining executives to discuss ESG-focused solutions to Africa’s growing mining operations. Such was the success of that programme, we have integrated it with our technology-focused Mining 2050 stream, to create the new three-day InfraTech @ Indaba content platform looking at critical aspects of mining infrastructure, technologies and building effective supply chains.

Delegates will also benefit from our mainstay content streams during Indaba week including Main Stage, Ministerial Symposium, Intergovernmental Summit, Green Metals Day, Mining 2050, Sustainability Day, Young Leaders Forum and the General Counsel Forum.

 MBA: You have chosen the theme of ‘Stability, Security and Supply for the 2023’ event. What is the rationale behind this?

SF: As the world cautiously emerged from the global pandemic in 2022, we rightly focused on getting Africa’s myriad economies back on track. Whilst ESG, from investment to operations and social licence to operate, will continue to underpin the values of Mining Indaba, we find ourselves entering a new chapter in both pan-African and global economies. Therefore, February’s official theme will be: “Unlocking African Mining Investment: Stability, Security, and Supply”. This captures the very real geopolitical shifts and economic disruptions we are experiencing, which are providing pressure points – as well as opportunities – within African mining. Due to this situation, global economies are seeking the security of supply, especially for their energy transitions, as well as the raw materials and precious metals to bolster their economic power. 

 MBA: There has been an observation among some analysts, which is a bone of contention, that virtual events will replace the traditional ‘in-person’ format in the near future. What is your take on this? What do you think makes ‘in-person’ relevant for events of the Mining Indaba scale now and for a long time?

SF: One of the key disadvantages of virtual events is the lack of in-person interaction. For almost two decades now, the Mining Indaba has brought the mining community face-to-face. We know the industry thrives on being together, making connections and sharing information. That is not easy to replicate in a virtual environment.

In 2021 we ran Mining Indaba as a two-day, content-led event, which was a huge success under the circumstances. We secured over 6,000 registrations from around the world and had three African heads of state give keynote addresses. In addition, we also ran our Mining Indaba Virtual Investment Programme in March 2021, allowing mining companies the opportunity to meet with global investors and continue to drive investment into African mining. There is no replacement for live events though and in May 2022 Investing in African Mining Indaba returned as an in-person event after two years and welcomed a record-breaking 6 570 attendees to the CTICC, in Cape Town, South Africa.

We are delighted to be returning to Cape Town in 2023 as a purely in-person event in its original February spot in the calendar from 6-9 February.

 MBA: What opportunities or developments in mining do you see sustaining the hosting of events like Investing in Mining Indaba in the coming years?

SF: One of the most immediate benefits of hosting international events like the Mining Indaba is the impact it has on the local economy. It is often difficult to fully appreciate the economic impact of any major event so after the Mining Indaba in 2020 we worked with a South African research body, Stratecon, to conduct an in-depth report on the economic benefits of hosting the event in South Africa.

We found that Mining Indaba increased GDP in South Africa by R177m 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 R22m, R18m of which was from international sources. So, the direct impact is certainly significant, and we are committed to increasing that further over the coming years by growing our events.

MBA: Last but certainly not least, what is your message to the delegates who will be attending The 2023 Investing in Mining Indaba as well as mining industry stakeholders? 

SF: As the name suggests, Investing in African Mining Indaba has a core strategic remit focusing on bringing investment opportunities into the African continent. The conference provides a platform for mining majors, mid-tiers and juniors to discuss key industry issues. Mining Indaba also creates opportunities for exploration companies to network and engage with important investment stakeholders and government all under one roof.



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