Mining indaba ’an investor conference at its core’
Investing in African Mining indaba is an investor conference at its core‚ but it is still an open forum where everyone is allowed to participate‚ says Mining Indaba MD Jonathan Moore.
By Paul Vecchiatto
The Investing in African Mining indaba is an investor conference at its core‚ but it is still an open forum where everyone is allowed to participate‚ says Mining Indaba MD Jonathan Moore.
Speaking to Business Day at the end of the four-day conference in Cape‚ Moore reacted to criticism from some quarters that there was an overall lack of labour representation at the event.
Earlier in the week a group styled as the “Alternative Mining Indaba” demonstrated in front of the Cape Town Convention Centre claiming the conference was not taking into account the needs of communities affected by mining‚ was not focused on sustainability‚ and complained the workers were unrepresented.
The National Union of Mineworkers was absent at this year’s conference‚ although in the past it has had delegations attend it.
This week that union held its shop stewards conference in Johannesburg.
Moore said various investor conferences were held around the world and typically labour was not part of them.
“The core of this conference and others is to link investors with the executives of companies so they can get a better handle on the risks they may face in their investments.
“If they want to hear about labour issues‚ then the investors would typically ask the company executives or government delegations their views‚” he said.
Moore said the Indaba had grown substantially over the past four years - in 2009 3‚500 delegates attended and this year about 7‚800 arrived.
He said there was a direct correlation between the number of delegates and the number of projects that are active in Africa.
“Investors are used to companies saying what projects they are busy with. But what really gets them excited and what they want to hear is those projects that lie in the future‚ or‚ what is coming down the pike (road)‚” he said.
February 5, 6, 7: African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa - corporate booth, investor meetings and investor/analyst tour of the Steenkampskraal mine site.
PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1z9iy)
Delegations from Asian countries‚ especially China and India‚ had grown‚ although the vast majority of attendees came from the tradition investing countries located in North America and Europe.
About 60 delegates were part of an official Chinese party and more than 50 were from an official Indian group.
“That is actually amazing‚ as three years ago they were not here (at the conference) at all‚” he said.
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said earlier this week the Mining Indaba had generated about R300 million in business for the city over the past five years.
Moore said it was extremely difficult to peg the influence of the conference on Cape Town‚ but pointed out that for every paying delegate attending the conference there was another person outside of it working on a deal or negotiating with a counterparty.
“Law firms and banks that have offices nearby the conference centre have had their meeting rooms filled with meetings of two or three people working out deals‚” he said.
Moore said conference delegates had filled 40 local hotels to capacity‚ but he expressed some concern that there were costs that the organisers of the Mining Indaba could not control.
Some delegates had complained that they had noticed hotel accommodation had increased by 60% over the past two years.
Moore said many African governments had approached the Mining Indaba organisers about moving the annual conference to their countries‚ but he said that it would stay in Cape Town for the foreseeable future.