Across the continent, the Africa Mining Vision, adopted by African heads of state in 2009, is gaining momentum with broader development imperatives aimed at integrating mining into industrial and trade policy.
As Africa develops, so its sovereign and operating risk will diminish, and its infrastructure will improve. Already the African Development Bank expects growth across African economies to accelerate next year to reach 4.2 percent in 2018.
A case in point is Nigeria, which has embarked on a long-term development of its mining sector, targeting $5 billion in investments over the next 10 years under a new industry roadmap. It recently also issued a three-year tax holiday for investors in the mining sector.
Others like Kenya want to offer companies and investors opportunities to tap into new green field projects. The Kenyan Government recently committed to a $29.64 million airborne survey to map mineral deposits; the objective of the study is to attract mining explorers particularly to the western part of the country where gold has been discovered.
Exploring growth strategies, new projects and investment opportunities across the African continent will be the focus of both the Ministerial Symposium and the Investment Discovery Forum at the 2017 Investing in African Mining Indaba conference, which takes place from 6-9 February in Cape Town.
“The response from African governments has been overwhelming,” says Harry Chapman, Director of Content for Mining Indaba. “To date we already have 20 confirmed ministers participating in the 2017 Ministerial Symposium, well over 300 percent more compared to this time last year; with our speaker line-up including the likes of Hon. Christopher Yaluma, Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, Zambia; Hon. Nii Osah Mills, Ghana’s Minister of Lands and Natural Resources; and Hon. Dan Kazungu , Mining Cabinet Secretary in Kenya.”
Chapman adds: “Investec and RBC Capital Markets have also announced their support for the 2017 Investment Discovery Forum (IDF). With participation from these organisations, the IDF establishes the building blocks for future growth of the conference, growing investor and mining company participation and focusing on the core of Mining Indaba; investment into African mining.”
He concludes: “As the market is recovering, companies are spending more on exploration and it’s a time when funds are more active in evaluations and investments. This upturn is also reflected in the growing line-up of investor and mining company speakers at Mining Indaba with a massive 61 percent year-on-year increase in investor registrations alone.”
Mining executives speaking at the 2017 Mining Indaba also see exploration as a key growth area and are optimistic about opportunities and investments in African mining in the year ahead.
“I think there is an extraordinary opportunity for companies of various levels in Africa over the next many years,” enthuses Clive Johnson, CEO of B2Gold. “There’s tremendous exploration opportunity and we believe there will be numerous additional, major gold discoveries made in Africa.”
Nikolai Zelenski, CEO of Nordgold concurs: “From our perspective, Africa remains an attractive destination for investment because it is a promising region where high quality deposits can still be found. With the increase in gold prices we will probably see increased investment by mining companies, especially in underexplored countries, which have a good history of dealing with mining companies and wish to attract foreign investment.”
As for the biggest opportunity for mining companies in Africa in the next 12 months, Alwyn Pretorius, Regional Senior Vice President at Newmont, points to rising precious metal prices generating higher margins, as likely to fund future growth projects.
“This will set the stage for future exploration and expansion possibilities, as Africa is rich in resources,” adds Pretorius. He also anticipates new exploration programmes, both brownfields and greenfields, to generate additional reserve and resource with improved gold price and cost efficiency benefits.
Centamin CEO, Andrew Pardey agrees. “Expenditure in exploration is likely to increase in 2017 as capital returns to the junior sector of the market. Also, having largely repaired their balance sheets and now generating free cash flow, some of the bigger producing companies are likely to turn their attention to reserve replenishment and production growth through exploration and/or acquisition.”
However, Pardey also cautions that while growth through exploration and/or acquisition may offer significant opportunities for all, there is a danger that the industry returns to “its old habits of pursuing growth for its own sake, to the detriment of long-term shareholder value”.
ABOUT MINING INDABA
With more than 6,000 attendees and 31 investor speakers across the three-day event, Investing in African Mining Indaba is the world’s largest mining investment conference and the largest mining event in Africa. It remains the preferred deal-making platform for mining in Africa, bringing together mining corporates who seek investment, investors who want to strike deals in the mining sector, and government ministers who engage both groups to discuss new projects in their countries. For more information, visit www.miningindaba.com.
African Ministers Speaking at the 2017 Mining Indaba include:
· Hon. Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane , Minister of Mineral Resources, Republic of South Africa
· Hon. Nii Osah Mills , Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Ghana
· Hon. Monsieur Aly Ngouille Ndiaye , Minister of Industry and Mines, Senegal
· Hon. Dan Kazungu , Mining Cabinet Secretary, Kenya
· Hon. Walter Chidakwa , Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Zimbabwe
· Hon. Kayode Fayemi , Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Nigeria
· Hon. Abdoulaye Magassouba , Minister of Mines and Geology, Guinea Conakry
· Hon. Dr. Abdelkader Amara , Minister of Energy, Mines, Water & Environment, Morocco
· Hon. Patrick Sendolo , Minister of Land, Mines and Energy, Liberia
· Hon. Christopher Yaluma , Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, Zambia
· Hon. Obeth Mbuipaha Kandjoze, Minister of Mines and Energy, Namibia
· Hon. Lebohang Thotanya, Minister of Mines, Lesotho
· Hon. Evode Imena, Minister of State for Mining, Rwanda
· Hon. Tiémoko Sangaré, Minister of Mines, Republic of Mali
· Hon. Christian Magnagna, Minister of Mines, Gabon
· Hon. Alfa Oumar Dissa, The Minister of Energy, Mines and Quarries, Burkina Faso
· Hon. Minister Bouchouareb, Minister of Mining, Algeria
· Hon. Manuel Francisco, Minister of Geology and Mines, Angola
· Hon. Dammipi Noupokou, Minister of Mines and Energy, Togo
· Hon. ZAFILAHY Ying Vah, Minister of Mining and Petroleum, Madagascar
Investor speakers at the 2017 Mining Indaba include:
· Rick Rule, President and CEO, Sprott US Holdings
· Christoph Eibl, CEO, Tiberius Asset Management
· Paul Ballantyne, Partner and Portfolio Manager, Genesis Investment Management
· Richard Crookes, Investment Director, EMR Capital
· Charl Malan, Portfolio Manager and Senior Analyst, Van Eck
· Neil Gregson, Portfolio Manager, JP Morgan Global Natural Resources Fund
· Caroline Donally, Director, Denham Capital
· Randy Smallwood, President and CEO, Silver Wheaton
· Joanne Warner, Head of Global Resources, Colonial First State Global Asset Management
· Michael Scherb, Managing Partner, Appian Capital
· Anthony Milewski, Vice President, Pala Investments
· Hanre Rossouw, Head of Resources - Frontier and Emerging Markets, Investec Asset Management
· David Street, Principal, Tembo Capital
· David Twist, Partner, African Minerals Exploration & Development
· Georges Lequime, Investment Advisor, Earth Resources Investment Group
· Willem Middelkoop, Founder, Commodity Discovery Fund
· Mike Stirzaker, Partner, Pacific Road Capital Management
· Markus Bachmann, Co-Founder Craton Capital
· Andor Lips, Fund Manager, Commodity Discovery Fund
· Paul Brink, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Franco-Nevada
· Johann Bester, Project Managers, IPPs, Thebe Investments
· Egon von Greyerz, Founder and Managing Partner, Matterhorn Asset Management
· Michael Barton, Portfolio Manager, Orion Resource Partners
· Yu Qing, Managing Director, Mining Investment Department, China-Africa Development Fund
· Xi Xi, Director, Sailing Capital
· Per Wimmer, CEO, Wimmer Family Office