ABN - The Investing in African Mining Indaba kicked off yesterday in Cape Town, with over 6,000 attendees from African and non-African mining firms across the globe expected
to attend over the four-day conference.
Now in its 23rd year, the industry gathering of mining professionals, investors, government officials and mining services providers was officially opened by South Africa’s Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi J. Zwane.
Zwane looked back on the 150 years that have passed since the first mining discovery in South Africa, maintaining that the industry is still a vital pillar of national economic growth.
“It (mining) contributes about 8% directly to South Africa’s GDP and just under 460,000 direct jobs.
“With an estimated US$2.5-3 trillion in non-energy mineral reserves still in-situ, we are looking forward to another 150 years of mining in South Africa,” said Zwane.
The minister also discussed how the government will continue to facilitate the best possible environment for miners, and pointed to increased investment in junior companies over 2017.
Zwane and Rob Davies, South African minister of trade and industry later held a Q&A session with a number of junior mining companies, with a focus on enhancing opportunities for juniors in the coming years.
Zwane concluded by asking his audience to prepare for entry into ‘a new spring’ in the industry and reaffirmed that South Africa will remain ‘open for business’.
Several international mining giants were present on the day, including Anglo-American (LSE:AAL), which is celebrating its centenary this calendar year.
Mark Cutifani, Anglo-American CEO, gave a speech to listeners outlining a strategic plan for the future of mining.
Cutifani identified three key areas of focus for the international mining community in his speech – innovation, sustainability and resilience.
“The stage is set: we need to do things differently to find new, safe, responsible and cost-effective ways to mine the ore bodies to meet the needs of a rapidly urbanising global population”, advised the chief executive.