Mining Indaba 2020: Day three round-up

Delegates flocked back to the Cape Town International Convention Centre on day three of the 2020 Investing in African Mining Indaba. The agenda brought back successful previous themes such as the Junior Mining Forum, the Intergovernmental Forum and Mining 2050, while the hugely popular Investment Battlefield culminated in the afternoon.

Mining 2050

After receiving great feedback from the 2019 Indaba, the event organisers extended the Mining 2050 theme to cover two full days of content. Following plenty of engaging discussions on long term innovation trends and strategies yesterday, Mining 2050 continued in the same vein on day three.

Stage C hosted a range of interesting discussions over the course of the day, including using technology to drive better health and safety systems in mines, digital mining, automation and artificial intelligence (AI).

The latter was discussed in rich detail during an AI session moderated by McKinsey partner Agesan Rajagopaul. Speakers were picked from a broad spectrum across the mining, tech and finance sectors, including Resolute Mining automation manager Mohamed Cisse, Patrick Murphy, president of rock drills and technology for Sandvik and Deloitte’s AI leader Wessel Oosthuizn.

ESG focus

In recent years the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) among mining companies worldwide has evolved into discussions around environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and the Indaba organisers were keen to illustrate this nuance in the conversation in the 2020 content offering.

This focus on ESG permeated through multiple panels and presentations throughout the week, but was no more prominent than on day three when the Intergovernmental forum commenced on stage B.

A panel on the strategic management of ESG risks in African mining provided a particularly enlightening insight into the future direction of ESG management in Africa. The panel was hosted by the UK’s Trade Commissioner for Africa Emma Wade-Smith (OBE) and she was joined by a five-star panel of assorted experts in the field.

“There is huge potential for many African countries to become global leaders in ESG management, but they will be competing with mature countries around the world, so there is a need to move fast to put in place these systems,” said Natural Resource Governance Institute Africa program officer Kaisa Toroskainen during the discussion.

The Investment Battlefield finale

The semi-finals of the Investment Battlefield competition for junior miners took place over two rounds in the morning of day three at the Indaba. After making it through the preliminary rounds for early stage exploration earlier in the week, RosCan Gold and Arc Minerals were sent through to the final by the judges.

From the advanced exploration/development semi-final, EcoGraf and Tietto Minerals emerged victorious. The four companies would do battle for one final time in the Investment Battlefield ‘boxing ring’ in the afternoon, and after much deliberation the judges panel of esteemed experts deemed Tietto Minerals the winner of the 2020 Indaba Investment Battlefield.

After successfully presenting Tietto’s high grade Abujar Gold Project in Côte d’Ivoire to various judging panels over the last few days, executive director Mark Strizek was handed the 2020 Investment Battlefield trophy, ensuring that Tietto will return to next year’s event with a complementary exhibition stand as reward for Mark’s efforts.

Check back to RGN tomorrow for a round-up of day four at the Mining Indaba.