The sun is shining, the weather is sweet, and Indaba has officially kicked off.
Before we get to conference nitty gritty, let’s talk about the weekend.
The English cricket players have been spotted in town ahead of the one-day game at Newlands tomorrow. Despite being rested for the one-day series, Ben Stokes was also seen in and around Cape Town by delegates – buying shots at the Caprice night club on Saturday, taking selfies and then belting golf balls down the fairway at Steenberg on Sunday morning.
The annual Arlington conference also took place over the weekend, and of course there were some cocktail events centred around showing the Six Nations game between France and England. We won’t mention the score.
Overall Indaba had a good vibe to it heading into the first day. The ‘regulars’ we spoke to that have attended quite a few over the 26 years, were generally confident on a positive conference and positive 2020 ahead.
Conference organisers were also kind enough to offer a torch with each delegate bag to get us through those load shedding periods. Notable stands on the floor include the massive Invest Saudi ‘booth’ which came with a live band, and Angola with its two story, temporary meeting room stand.
On that note, top media story of Monday, was the announcement by Gwede Mantashe, South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, that The SA government is looking at setting up a new electricity generation business outside Eskom, and there were no restrictions on companies producing power for internal use. This is significant because previously mining companies could only produce small amounts of their own electricity, therefore relying on an unreliable national utility in Eskom.
Anglo American CEO, Mark Cutifani was the official keynote of the day, and along with an editorial piece in the local Business Day newspaper, he discussed the need to connect the future of mining with next-generation societal values, namely: increased transparency, responsible technological innovation, sustainability and shared prosperity.
Unsurprising then that he will be making an appearance at the 10th Alternative Mining Indaba over in Woodstock, Cape Town on Tuesday. A conference that “seeks to discuss and understand the social effects of mining and demand accountability, transparency and good governance.”
On that note, Charles Vivian was the moderator on a panel, which was titled; ‘Winning Back the Millennial Generation” which included panellists from De Beers, Resolute Mining, Investec, and ICCM. The subject matter included, how mining companies, need to change mindset and language to attract the millennial community to invest in the mining sector.
Additionally, the other topic of interest, was how do millennials, and even Generation Z communities, want to see changed from within mining corporates. This focussed on the importance of ESG, the increased use of renewable energy, and more support in education. Communicating to millennials is an ongoing process, but as ESG is fast becoming a vital component for any mining company; one hopes to see more emphasis on ESG and then see the start of millennials investing in the naturals resources sector.
Of course, the 121 Investor Conference is also going on in parallel on Monday and Tuesday. Over 450 investors and analysts registered and over two thousand meetings prearranged, according to the organisers.
Henry Steel from Odey Asset Management and Peter Major from Mergence are key panellists on the speaking agenda there. Tonight we host our annual Monday night event and we look forward to seeing you there, probably as one of several places you may land up at over the course of the evening. Enjoy.