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Opportunity Issue 97

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Opportunity, endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI), is the mouthpiece for business in Southern Africa. The aim of the publication is to inform potential investors both nationally and internationally of the most relevant business news: trade, investment, financial, market-related information for each business sector, as well as to inform of the latest developments in business legislation from both the public and private sector. In this issue, SACCI’s call is for everyone to work towards the common purpose of getting our economy on a sound footing again.

MINING Mining Indaba

MINING Mining Indaba 2021 The Investing in African Mining Indaba went virtual in 2021. Global energy transition and ESG were at the heart of the online conference. At least twice a year, downtown Cape Town can feel a bit like New York: when parliament opens and when the Investing in African Mining Indaba comes to town. When miners, investors and government officials come together to share ideas, the buzz around the Cape Town International Convention Centre is unmistakable. Cape Town missed out on that kind of energy in 2021, but the Mining Indaba Virtual still managed to attract impressive numbers. The first online event had: • More than 3 600 unique attendees • 107 countries represented • Three heads of state as speakers • Speakers from a wide range of companies including Anglo American, Rio Tinto, Exxaro Resources, Sibanye-Stillwater and many more • 16 sponsors • 26 media partners. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and the global energy transition were two of the overarching themes of the Indaba. As Tom Quinn, Investing in African Mining Indaba’s Head of Content, put it, ESG principles and sustainability were “at the heart of every single session”. The responsibility of mining in the interests of the planet and the people who live on it does not rest solely with mining companies. It’s a duty shared by financiers and investors, and this is something that came up in various ways during the conference. Heads of state spoke in their contributions about the need for a “just transition” while bankers outlined how investment decisions today involve much more than looking at profit margins. PROS AND CONS OF VIRTUAL CONFERENCING Speaking of the past events held in Cape Town, Quinn says, “Our community has huge brand loyalty because of the premium event experience they receive, including engaging content, thought-leadership discussions, unrivalled networking and meeting opportunities, and for many mining operators, the unique opportunity to meet with a high number of investors in one place.” For the 2021 event, a Virtual Investment Programme was structured over the last two days of March, which connected the global finance community with mining operators on a oneto-one basis. The webinar series that ran in the months leading up to the Mining Virtual Indaba served to keep regular participants connected with topical industry insights. Although there are downsides to not being able to meet in person at conferences, an advantage was the reach of new audiences which otherwise would not be able to travel to Cape Town. Regarding the format adopted, Quinn noted, “We were very conscious of ‘webinar fatigue’ given that almost all business events in the past year have had to be conducted online and the virtual space is saturated now with online content. The audience appreciated that we kept the sessions to 60 minutes, focusing on key topics, rather than trying to precisely re-create the Mining Indaba experience.” A huge effort was made to ensure that the technical side of things would run seamlessly. “We decided from the start to invest 14 |

MINING significant capital in using a professional television studio and production crew to support Mining Indaba Virtual,” says Quinn. POPULAR SESSIONS Three presidents spoke at the event: President Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa), President Mokgweetsi Masisi (Botswana) and President Julius Maada Bio (Sierra Leone). These talks attracted good audiences as did the sessions where government and industries could engage in dialogue. Interest was high in the sessions on gold, platinum group metals and the role of mining in decarbonisation and the energy transition. There is a growing awareness that the mining sector can play a huge role in turning the global economy away from carbon fuels and the Mining Indaba organisers see their role as helping to lead these conversations. As Quinn says, “Through our industry’s production of copper, cobalt, platinum group metals, nickel, rare earths, tin and all manner of other base and critical metals and minerals, there is a huge responsibility for mining companies to lead the way in building energy storage and decarbonisation technologies to reduce emissions and mitigate the harmful impacts of climate change.” So change is coming and we are going to hear about the shape of it at future Mining Indabas. But the 2022 Indaba is likely to be more like its 2020 predecessor. Says Quinn, “There is no substitute for face-to-face interaction. Indaba is quintessentially about the people who create the buzz for the week and give the event energy and focus. “We share the feelings of our partners and delegates and cannot wait to welcome everyone to Cape Town once again.” ___ __ Live panel discussions on stage such as during the 2020 event (above) were not possible in 2021, but the quality of knowledge and input maintained a high standard. The Conversation. Creative Commons licence

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