As the mining industry is dealing with challenges, opportunities and key trends that it faces in 2023 and beyond, one of the key events in Africa that offers a platform for all these issues to be discussed is the African Mining Indaba. This event will take place from 6-9 February 2023, at Cape Town, South Africa. This is the second in-person edition after COVID-19 hit in 2020 and it was a successful one.
One of the notable speakers at the African Mining Indaba is Zambia’s Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, Paul Kabuswe. The representation of Zambia at this global event is crucial as the country is actively resuscitating its mining industry. This will give the country a chance to engage with big mining companies and investors which will eventually lead to life-changing deals being made that eventually benefit the Zambian people.
Currently, the country has a target of about three million tons of copper production by 2030, therefore there is a lot to be done to achieve this goal. Enormous investments will have to be poured into the improvement of infrastructure such as road, rail, electricity production and more employment creation to get better output as expected.
President Hakainde Hichilema recently did a captivating presentation of ‘Green Energy Mining Deal’ as companies announce new commitments in the US-Africa Business Forum Deal Room on 14 December 2022, at Washington DC in the United States of America (USA). After landing the first significant direct American investment into the Zambian mining sector in more than 30 years, Hichilema revealed he is resetting Zambia’s relationship with China and the USA for the country’s benefit.
Unfortunately, deteriorating global macroeconomic conditions might persist into early 2023, representing a downside risk to the metals and mining sector as many commodity prices slide and equity market support weakens. Producers will be impacted by narrowing margins, while the exploration sector will restrain activity amid tighter financing conditions. Hopefully, as the year progresses the industry will reinforce the importance of the mining’s role in the global energy transition effort.
This year, African Mining Indaba will be focusing on the ways Africa can optimise the opportunity to increase the supply of green metals for global energy demands while creating meaningful value for communities. ‘Green Metals Day’, running over two mornings of the event will cover the impact of COP27 outcomes on green metal demand and supply; battery metals and carbon neutrality; green metals outlooks; Africa’s hydrogen potential; as well as ways to build domestic manufacturing industries as part of mineral value addition.
African mining and metals are critical to tackling the global climate emergency. Home to 30 percent of the world’s mineral deposits, including the critical minerals needed in green technologies and renewable energy, the continent is positioning itself to benefit from the green energy transition.
Investing in African Mining Indaba’s Portfolio Director, Simon Ford said, “Mining Indaba provides the perfect platform to explore the balance between opportunity and value creation, particularly in the African context where the social licence to operate is as fundamental to success as the commodity being produced.”
A Minerals for Climate Action report released by the World Bank in mid-2022 estimates that demand for green metals could increase five-fold by 2050 to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies. This massive boost in demand for minerals and metals will mean that mineral-rich developing countries, like those in Africa, can drive a net-zero future.
“Attracting a share of the investment to low and middle-income countries could contribute to economic growth, jobs and local development,” stated the World Bank.
“Mining Indaba 2023 theme is ‘Unlocking African Mining Investment: Stability, Security, and Supply’, which explores African mining’s opportunities to tap into the global rush for the raw materials needed to ensure a cleaner future, while at the same time considering responsible sourcing and sustained, ethical supplies of these critical minerals,” added Ford.
Last year, President Hakainde Hichilema told the Mining Indaba jamboree that his government is establishing a transparent and corruption intolerant investment environment for the mining sector.
“To ensure transparency in the administration and issuance of mining rights, we imposed a moratorium on issuance of mining rights to facilitate a comprehensive audit of the mining rights administration system.
“We are now working towards operationalization of the online payment portal to promote efficiency and integrity in the administration system of mining rights,” said Hichilema, adding that his government would not allow any hurdles in achieving its ambitions.
He said aggressive investment into exploration will unlock the undiscovered mineral resources and create an enormous socio-economic impact that will not only lift many of our people out of poverty but create new wealth and prosperity.
Hichilema also called for closer collaboration for countries in the Southern bloc to invest in the railway system. He says African leaders and partners should take deliberate steps to ensure sustainable development and management of mineral resources, while building down-stream linkages aimed at promoting value addition and manufacturing.