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Mining Indaba 2024 : Boosting the mining sector

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Mining Indaba 2024 : Boosting the mining sector

At a time when the world is fully committed to the energy transition, Africa is aspiring to boost its mining sector. The Mining Indaba 2024 conference is encouraging local banks to support mining projects considered too risky by international lenders.

Presentation of the Mining Indaba 2024 conference

The 30th edition of the Mining Indaba conference is scheduled to take place from February 5 to 8, 2024, at the Cape Town International Convention Center in South Africa. Under the theme « Embracing the power of positive disruption: a bold new future for the African mining industry », this significant gathering aims to catalyze transformative changes within the African mining sector.

Drawing together nearly 1,200 investors, 1,500 mining company executives, and a diverse array of international exhibitors from the energy and mining technology sectors, the conference serves as a platform to foster collaboration and innovation. With a focus on promoting and supporting the necessary changes to propel the mining industry forward in Africa, the event is poised to chart a dynamic course towards a more sustainable and prosperous future for the continent’s mining sector.

This edition of Mining Indaba also sees the participation of several pan-African and international funders playing a key role in the mining industry. These include :

  • Smart Capital with the ANAVA Fund, which invests in start-ups
  • Winning International Group, which shares a common strategic vision for the African mining sector
  • EquityBCDC, the second largest bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
  • African Development Bank (ADB).

Participation of the African Development Bank

The aim of the AfDB’s participation is to catalyze new investment in mining production by collaborating with the private sector and multilateral institutions. Cooperation focusing on climate change and fair energy transition.

The African Centre for Natural Resource Management and Investment (ECNR) is leading the development bank’s delegation. Other representatives include the secretariat of the Appeals and Sanctions Board, the Africa Investment Forum, the African Legal Support Facility and the departments of:

  • Industrial Development and Trade
  • Financial Solutions
  • Energy Policy and Regulation

As a speaker and sponsor of the event, the AfDB is leading sessions on the role of development finance in empowering the mining industry and Africa’s green minerals strategy. The delegation is also taking part in the pre-conference Ministerial Symposium, where the private sector and African ministers discuss policy reforms.

Major themes of the Cape Town event

The Mining Indaba 2024 conference will focus on a number of key themes designed to boost Africa’s mining sector :

  • Innovation and research in mining : a dedicated area showcases innovative projects and ground-breaking research in the mining sector.
  • Responsible resource exploitation : projects singled out for their responsible approach to exploiting mineral resources are awarded prizes.
  • Promoting gender equality : discussions on the role and place of women in the mining sector.

The Simandou project is also at the heart of the discussions. Its implementation in Guinea includes the construction of mining, port and rail infrastructures representing an investment envelope of 20 million USD. Development, financing, safety and sustainability in the mining sector are the crucial issues addressed at the conference. Discussions also encompass sensitive issues such as corruption, value-addition and the challenges of the energy transition.

Impact of the conference on the African mining industry

Africa holds 30 % of the world’s mineral reserves, making a significant contribution to many of the region’s economies. However, the mining sector is experiencing an investment gap, a trend accentuated by the race towards energy transition. Against this backdrop, the Mining Indaba 2024 conference provides an essential platform for discussing advances in sustainability. This exchange comes at a crucial time for addressing the challenges posed by climate deregulation.

Resilience of the mining sector to the energy transition

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, international donors are now favoring sustainable, green-energy-focused projects. Mining projects, often perceived as polluting, are struggling to attract investors. Faced with this situation, Mining Indaba is calling on local banks to support these initiatives.

The initiative aims to reassure existing partners and attract new investors. Despite environmental concerns, numerous oil projects are continuing in Africa, such as the partnership between TotalEnergie and the Nigerian government in December 2023.

Market potential for strategic minerals

Africa holds significant reserves of strategic minerals that are crucial to the energy transition. For example, Zimbabwe has the largest lithium deposits on the continent and ranks sixth in the world in terms of production. Similarly, the Democratic Republic of Congo is the world’s leading producer of cobalt.

These mineral riches position Africa as a high-potential market, likely to attract the interest of investors. However, despite these opportunities, challenges and obstacles remain in the sector, hampering potential investment.

African governments are facing higher borrowing costs and difficulties in accessing new credit. At the same time, more and more private lenders are withdrawing their capital from developing countries. As a result, local financial institutions face the challenge of filling a significant share of the financing gap. This context underlines the need for greater mobilization of internal and external financial resources to support the sustainable development of the mining sector in Africa.

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