‘Just as you remember it, but better’ – Mines and Money London 2021 day one round-up

After two years of COVID-related disruption and a series of virtual-only conferences, Mines and Money returned to London today for its first in-person event since the pandemic landed in early 2020.

Not to be deterred by fears surrounding the new Omicron variant, over 1,000 delegates flocked to the Business Design Centre in North London for the day of in-person networking, keynote panels and industry discussions had by some of the biggest movers and shakers in the industry.

Below is RGN’s breakdown of what occurred during the first day of Europe’s largest mining investment conference.

Outgoing Anglo American boss receives lifetime achievement award

Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani was honoured to receive Mines and Money’s lifetime achievement award for his services to the industry over the breadth of his career at the diversified mining giant.

Cutifani announced last month that he would be stepping down from his role at the helm of Anglo, to be replaced by 54-year old South African Duncan Wanblad, who is currently head of strategy at the company.

In the opening session of Mines and Money London, Cutifani dialled in virtually (at the behest of quarantine guidelines) to the audience to deliver a presentation on the role of mining in the process of decarbonisation and the global green economy.

“We need to halve emissions by 2030 to achieve 1.5 degrees of global warming in line with the Paris goals,” he said. “We are going to need many metals and minerals to achieve those goals, such as lithium and cobalt, along with fertilisers for the agriculture sector.”

Saudi mines minister invites industry to Riyadh for Future Minerals Summit in January

His excellency Khalid bin Saleh Al-Mudaifer, Saudi Arabia’s Vice Minister of Mining Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, delivered a keynote address to the Mines and Money audience highlighting the strong growth potential of the Saudi mining sector.

Mining is set to play a significant role in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 framework, which seeks to diversify the economy away from oil. Up to US$1.3 trillion of resource value could be unlocked through the plan to transform the Saudi mining sector, according to the government.

“In recent years, Saudi Arabia has built a track record in metals and minerals extraction, backed by a new mining investment law,” Al-Mudaifer said. The inaugural Future Minerals Summit will take place in Riyadh from January 11-13th, with more than 12 ministers from the MENA region already confirmed.

Asante Gold to bring Bibiani mine online in Q3 next year

One of the mining corporates in attendance on day one of the show was Ghana-focused Asante Gold. The CSE and FSE-listed firm acquired the Bibiani Gold Mine from Resolute Mining earlier this year, and is aiming to propel the project back into production by Q3 of 2022.

On care and maintenance since 2014, the project – located along Ghana’s Bibiani-Sefwi gold belt – will produce around 170,000 ounces of gold in its first year, followed by 200,000 ounces in the second year and up to 250,000 ounces after six years.

Speaking exclusively to RGN at the event, COO Dave Anthony described Ghana as an ‘exceptional’ host country in the African space. “Rule of law is paramount, the people are wonderful and very capable as mine operators. It’s a very mature industry and processes around mine licencing are well ingrained and understood,” he said.

Mining CEO of the year goes to Endeavour’s Simon de Montessus

Day one of Mines and Money London was rounded off by the Outstanding Achievement awards ceremony and subsequent drinks reception. Endeavour Mining’s Simon de Montessus was delighted to receive the coveted CEO of the year award, despite not being able to pick the award up in person.

Another recipient was Alliance Bernstein’s Danielle Chagumira, who was given the Charles Kernot mining analyst of the year award. De Grey Mining was rewarded for its exploration exploits in Western Australia, picking up the discovery of the year gong.

Royal Road Resources was awarded ESG exploration/development company of the year, and Golden Star Resources was given the corresponding ESG award in the development sphere. Congratulations to all the recipients from today’s awards ceremony.

Check back to RGN tomorrow for a round-up of Mines and Money London day two.