05 Feb Mining Indaba 2018 – Day one round-up
Africa’s biggest mining industry networking event kicked off today in Cape Town with a wide variety of stakeholders across the African mining sector in attendance. Here is a selection of highlights from day one of the Investing in African Mining Indaba 2018.
— Alex Grose (@MiningIndaba_MD) February 5, 2018
South Africa’s minerals minister makes poorly-received speech at Mining Indaba
Under-fire Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane spoke to the gathered mining community in a keynote address in which he did not mention South Africa’s controversial new mining charter.
The mining charter was announced last year and stipulated that miners operating in South Africa may have to permanently increase stakes held by black shareholders to 30% or more within a year.
Instead, Zwane chose to focus on good relations and positive meetings with global mining firms operating in South Africa.
“Through our open-door policy‚ we continue to prioritise the promotion of good working relations with right-holders‚ and we engage on a continuous basis on issues which will advance the growth and development of the sector‚” he said.
“Since our arrival in Cape Town a few days ago we have met with some of the global mining firms operating in our country‚ including Rio Tinto – on the company’s plans to expand its operations and extend its life of mine‚ with a potential investment to the tune of US$450 million.”
Rio Tinto executive says mining sector has reached a turning point
Rio Tinto’s chief executive, energy & minerals Bold Baatar told listeners that the mining sector has reached a vital juncture and Africa has a great opportunity to drive the future of the industry.
“Technology, society and markets are moving dramatically at rapid pace, demanding a fundamental shift in the way we think,” he said.
“Africa is the largest untapped source for growth in mining … and yet Africa’s greatest resource is its people. With 200 million people aged 15 to 24, Africa has the youngest population in the world [and is] perfectly poised to take advantage of the opportunities.
“We will create sophisticated technical jobs, which will require investment in re-skilling.
“Rio Tinto will be part of Africa’s future,” he concluded.
New sense of hope in South Africa’s mining industry – CoM CEO
South Africa’s Chamber of Mines (CoM) CEO has hailed a new sense of hope in the national mining industry during his welcome speech at the Mining Indaba.
“For the first time in a number of years … it is possible to look forward to reasonable hope, rather than foreboding [as there are] definitely … some real positive green shoots,” he said.
“There [are] some positive winds of change blowing through the country and through the industry.
“It gives us a new confidence that a resurgence is taking place in the industry for the year ahead.”
Baxter went on to discuss how the CoM is willing to work with the government and other stakeholders to help get the industry back on track.
He also referred to some key highlights for the industry last year, including the mining industry contributing 6.8% to the country’s GDP and in real terms the industry was estimated to have expanded by 3.7% in 2017.
Check back to RGN tomorrow for a round-up of day two’s events.