Maximising this year’s Mining Indaba
Maximising this year’s Mining Indaba
Excitement reigns amongst members of the mining industry as for the first time in many months they prepare to meet face‑to‑face at this year’s Mining Indaba, which is to take place at the CTICC in Cape Town 9–12 May 2022.
With many new trends to discuss and key developments coming under the microscope, this is a quick guide to making the most of this year’s event.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has left many industries battered, mining remains a mainstay of the economy. But while the industry celebrates banner years, it is also clear that a number of pressing issues need to be discussed if the industry is to continue on this upward trajectory—and this is precisely why industry players cannot afford to be absent from this all-important convention. According to Bonnie Smith, GM of FCM, “With key decision makers all meeting in person for the first time in many months, this is one event that cannot be missed”. She adds that this face-to-face platform creates the possibility of probing critical issues in far greater depth than is possible online.
Coming under the spotlight
Amongst these issues are factors such as the industry’s response to climate change and the potential for reducing emissions. Delegates will also have the chance to explore issues regarding policy, while relationships with communities will also come under the microscope. In addition, the question of energy will be raised, with delegates debating strategies for growth in an environment that is constantly evolving under the pressure of the pandemic, 4IR and new technologies.
The personal touch
While access to the information on the topics offered by the Indaba is extremely useful, it is the panel discussions and workshops that create opportunities for developing and sharing key insights that make attendance at this event especially valuable. Smith notes, “We cannot deny the convenience of online platforms and the value they added at a time when travel was difficult, but there is no replacement for the quality of personal interactions”. She continues, “Mining, in particular, is an industry where face-to-face discussions benefit players who are grappling with complex matters. This may be why members of the mining industry have continued to travel despite the rigours and complications introduced by COVID protocols and regulations.”
Harnessing the power of networking
For delegates who are intent on making the most of these meetings, a little networking is essential. One of the highlights of the Mining Indaba is the business matchmaking platform that has been especially created by the organisers. However, delegates who simply want to strengthen relationships with other players (rather than identify likely financiers or projects) are advised to research the attendees and speakers ahead of time, pinpointing those who may be of interest. It would be a good idea to introduce yourself in an email before the Indaba, perhaps requesting a meeting if they are amenable. Be sure to prepare thoroughly ahead of time. As Smith points out, “Knowing who you would like to engage with and having a clear objective for when you do so helps you avoid the helicopter approach—hoping that the people you get talking to by chance are able to add value in some way”. It is also a good idea to attend as many dinners or other events that have been arranged for delegates as possible since this will increase your opportunities to make useful contacts. Remember to follow up with an email after the event.
Nailing the logistics
Smith notes that if your goal is to meet other industry players, it could be helpful to stay at a hotel that is in close proximity to the venue as this is certain to be popular with other delegates. “This year’s Indaba is hosted at the CTICC, which is conveniently located on Cape Town’s Foreshore. This means that there are many excellent hotels within a close distance.” The CTICC is also close to Cape Town’s famed V&A Waterfront, a favourite amongst visitors to the city and home to many excellent restaurants and shops. A highlight is the Watershed where visitors can peruse high‑end items made by local designers.
The Waterfront offers a number of interesting experiences—it is, for instance, the departure point for tours to the World Heritage Site of Robben Island where Former President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. Smith advises that visitors to Cape Town set aside at least five days to explore the beautiful city’s many attractions and to take in sights such as the colourful Bo-Kaap, Table Mountain, the Winelands and the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Smith concludes, “I would advise anyone attending the Mining Indaba to consult a TCM before finalising their booking. Cape Town—and South Africa for that matter—is a fascinating place with an exciting blend of cultures, wonderful scenic attractions and a gripping history, and an experienced TCM will help you compile an itinerary that enables you to experience the very best of what’s on offer while simplifying logistics so that you are able to make the most of your time at the conference”.