Eve Harper, global natural resources portfolio director at the Investing in African Mining Indaba, shares insights into the success of the 2023 event, and what is being planned for next year’s edition:

How successful was Mining Indaba 2023? What were some of the events/topics that delegates really enjoyed? Why was this the case, do you think, and will you be replicating these at Mining Indaba 2024?

Mining Indaba 2023 was undoubtedly the most successful event since Hyve took acquisition in 2019. Not only were our delegate numbers just over 8 000 in total, of these we had a number of early-stage explorers, more than 900 investors, around 470 junior miners and just over 700 mid-tier and major miners. We also attracted an extremely large delegation of mining ministers who rounded out the key stakeholders who gathered under our roof to collaborate and network.

Our focus in 2024 is to increase these numbers, and the work we are doing to achieve this is varied across multiple focus areas, which definitely includes content.

Our 2024 theme, “Embracing the power of positive disruption: A bold new future for African mining”, aims to completely elevate the audience experience for our panel discussions and all content elements within our programmes. In supporting this, our main stage has been rebranded “Disruptive Discussions” in order that we continually emphasise our content objectives. Here our priority is for our panellists to move away from typical corporate message delivery and start engaging around real challenges in mining to find solutions – in other words, showcasing how they are disruptive in the industry in order that other stakeholders can feel inspired and connected with these messages.

Smaller panels, with more engaged and participatory moderators, will deliver transparent and meaningful conversations with which the audience can connect and from which they can learn.

Important to highlight is the attendance of João Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola. Another Head of State has been confirmed, which we will unveil soon, so keep watch for this announcement.

These distinguished leaders will deliver a keynote address to attendees on the Monday morning, 5 February, and share their insights and perspectives on the mining industry – highlighting the importance of collaboration and sustainable development in this sector. Their presence at Mining Indaba 2024 reflects the global significance of this event and reinforces its reputation as a premier platform for discussing critical issues in mining.

The event has evolved over the years to include a variety of content streams and special sessions addressing diverse subjects of relevance in addition to unveiling this year’s programmes that will support the theme of the event. These additions aim to support the theme of the event and provide valuable information to attendees.

The largest ever conference will feature the following concurrent “special sessions”:

Explorers Showcase

The Explorers Showcase is an opportunity for exploration and early-development mining firms in Africa. It aims to help explorers find the right partners and generate capital for their projects through exclusive deal-making networks.

Responsible Resourcing Awards

Mining Indaba introduced the Junior ESG Awards two years ago to honour junior mining companies for their sustainable development initiatives. The Responsible Resourcing Awards, rebranded, continue to celebrate and recognise these companies for their efforts in reducing carbon emissions, improving access to clean water, and promoting sustainable economic development in their regions.

Investment Battlefield

The Investment Battlefield is an annual competition for Africa’s top junior mining companies, held in partnership with Mining Indaba and 121 Cape Town Events. The relegation-style format sees non-relegated juniors advance to the finals for best exploration and development projects.

Mining Innovation and Research Battlefield

New Leaders. Fresh Ideas. Real-world Impact. The return of the Mining Innovation and Research Battlefield will empower new leaders and uplift fresh ideas in African mining, promoting cross-sector collaboration for catalysing and achieving real-world impact in the industry.

We have further adapted our programmes to reflect areas that we know to be of greatest interest to our stakeholders. The first is the Intergovernmental Summit: a single-day programme now extends over three days from the Monday and is, in essence, an extension of the closed-door Ministerial Symposium, but in a public forum environment. This all takes place in The Westin and becomes the hub for government networking, conversations and content delivery at Mining Indaba – although we will see their presence through panel discussions in the CTICC and at their exhibition stands.

Our sustainability programme – now called the Sustainability Series – has been extended to two days. This is our response to the industry’s need to talk about sustainability at length. It is a driving factor for the mining industry at present and forms one of the most important programmes we offer in 2024.

New in 2024 is a Junior Miners’ Day programme that caters specifically to juniors – perhaps an audience that hasn’t had the strongest visibility in the last few years, but is a target audience we are focusing on heavily. They are the drivers of the next generation of mining and we want to ensure our content and our junior mining presence reinforces and explores this. Likewise, the addition of an Investor Day emphasises the need to hear directly from our investors and understand the parameters by which junior companies need to focus to better position themselves for funding.

Our technology programme, which has been an evolving programme for the few last years, has now been positioned correctly to best define what it truly aims to focus on and is a platform that showcases mining technologies that will move our industry into the future. The “Tech and Innovation Hub”, which takes place on the show floor, is designed to speak to our tech providers and exhibitors, in collaboration with the industry to explore the future of mining – not on a surface level, but on a deep and meaningful level that our industry can learn from and adopt in order to process their own technology journey faster. This programme will include technologies in action, providing a visual and sensory experience that enables the audience to better connect with the technology and its potential.

Our Youth Day, which takes place on the Thursday, is perhaps seen as outlying element to our event, but we have also recognised the role youth will play in tomorrow’s mining industry. For 2024, we are working to integrate younger generations into Mining Indaba across the full event and look at how we can support young students financially to engage in a career in mining.

While the industry is multifaceted in terms of commodities, we have a strong critical minerals underlying theme across many of our sessions – reinforcing again the need to provide knowledge sharing and content around the area of greatest interest at present.

Mining Indaba celebrates its 30-year anniversary in 2024, which is dedicated to ‘giving back’ primarily. We are looking at various projects to be involved in that represent Mining Indaba to be a responsible event that supports areas of mining that need support. We will also be introducing an “Icons of Women in Mining Awards” in partnership with Women in Mining SA to shine a spotlight on the road women have travelled to become meaningful contributors to our industry.

Our event truly strives to connect industry experts while also making a positive social and community effect. By linking their mission with social and community benefits, we are promoting change that transcends beyond the bounds of the event itself.

As a multinational event company, Hyve places a strong emphasis on selecting local suppliers and providing opportunities for entrepreneurs. This not only creates jobs and supports economic growth but also ensures grassroots benefits. Working with local suppliers ensures an authentic and meaningful event experience by leveraging their skills and market knowledge.

Hyve’s events have contributed to society by supporting young people through donations to Cotlands charity and student sponsorship programmes. We have partnered with Breadline Africa to build a school in Masonwabe, providing quality education for hundreds of children in the Western Cape. Investing in education empowers individuals and contributes to Africa’s development, driving innovation and sustainable growth.

What have you gathered as the mood/anticipation from delegates, exhibitors/international community for the Mining Indaba 2024 – what is driving this sentiment?

As mentioned, Mining Indaba turns 30 in 2024, and the excitement around this milestone achievement is high – and with a large contingent of loyal participants, our stakeholders want to share in this unbelievable achievement.

That aside, as mentioned, the war is on a race to secure critical minerals in order to contribute toward the overarching need to deliver an energy transition across the planet. Africa remains the last truly untapped continent with the greatest prospect for delivering vast quantities of critical minerals and so this remains an underlying feature throughout our content. We will have strong representation from international governments and investors including the United States, Europe, Saudi Arabia, India and more, all contributing to their ideals for supporting the development of critical minerals industries in Africa. Importantly, our discussions will explore how Africa can best utilise its own minerals while still contributing toward global needs.

How successful was the 121 Junior Mining event – anything new in this regard for the next Indaba?

The investors who attended 121 Mining Investment Cape Town 2023 ranged from small-scale individual investments to large institutional funds. The size and degree of development of the mining projects featured at the event varied, with some focusing on early-stage exploration and others on mature development or production. The commodities covered in the projects included gold, copper, platinum and rare-earth metals. Because of the diversity of attendees, there was enough potential for networking and collaboration across all sectors of the mining industry.

Several notable meetings and connections were made at 121 Mining Investment Cape Town 2023, which was a record-breaking year for attendance, bringing together more than 700 investors and 111 mining projects for pre-scheduled meetings and networking. With a sterling average of 19 per firm throughout the two days, capital-raising conversations took place and connections were enriched. With the demand we have received from the sector thus far, we foresee an even bigger and better 121 Mining Investment for 2024.

What is the appetite from exhibitors? Any new companies that will be first-timers?

The exhibition floor – larger than it has been in the past – is a combination of loyal repeat clients and new clients. This demonstrates the value our stakeholders see in positioning themselves at our event, year after year, while simultaneously being supported by new clients who are eager to experience what Mining Indaba has to offer.

How is the Mining Indaba platform being used to promote Africa’s Mining Vision on the global stage?

The Africa Mining Vision aims to promote the development of mining in Africa in a transparent and equitable approach. It is public knowledge that Africa’s critical minerals resources are extensive but largely untapped, and this holds substantial opportunity to fast-track the development of Africa and, by association, its economies and community upliftment. Understanding the role Africa will play – currently and what is necessary – will be explored and the goal ascertained of how it can contribute to global demand, but also derive value at a local level to promote country and continent development.

What role does sustainability play in the discussions and showcases at Mining Indaba 2024?

Sustainability has become a top 5 board agenda and priority for the mining industry and needs to be explored from a variety of aspects: international requirements driving this, in the form of ESG (environmental, social and governance) ratings and standards are also changing. Our Sustainability Series programme will unpack a number of important topics in relation to this: from artisanal mining, to community development, the just energy transition, circularity, net zero mines, the future of coal and most mining economies. Visit our website and explore this programme (and others) in more detail in needed.

Any other information you wish to impart?

As Mining Indaba enters the next era of its journey, we are excited to take this event in a new direction – much of which, from a content perspective, can already clearly be seen. We are exploring new audience sectors to bring to the event which will add value to the full value chain of mining and continuously add to our event offering that further supports our need to be the platform that enables the African mining industry to develop and advance. We believe the greatest change that happens within industry is thanks to the content and conversations that take place under our roof.

Kathryn Barnard, event director of the Mining Indaba, adds: “The 2024 event aims to showcase the thriving African mining industry and its readiness for investment, making it a unique and significant event to attend. We are excited to bring together stakeholders from across the mining industry to drive positive and long-term change in the sector. Mining Indaba 2023 attracted a record number of attendees, and we expect to welcome an even larger number of global mining executives at our 30th anniversary event, more than 8 000 delegates from 100+ countries. Our audience will include more than 900 investors, 1 200 mining company executives and 100+ government representatives, including Heads of State and ministerial delegations.”

Mining Indaba 2024 will take place from 5 to 8 February at the Cape Town International Convention Centre

Leave a Reply

Notice: ob_end_flush(): failed to send buffer of zlib output compression (0) in /home/africa41/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 5420