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Home » Mining Indaba 2023: Energy Transition, Investment and Regulations Dominate South Africa Talks

Mining Indaba 2023: Energy Transition, Investment and Regulations Dominate South Africa Talks

The high level talks during Mining Indaba 2023 in South Africa focused on energy transition, investment and regulations.

As Africa shifts its energies towards net zero emissions targets, it needs to transition from fossil fuel energy system to one that is renewable and ultimately more sustainable.

This was among the highlights of the three-day Africa Mining Indaba 2023 forum, which ended on February 9.

The high-level mining summit brought together global investors, industry stakeholders and a number of African Heads of State, with President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa as chief guest.

Key takeaway notes revolved around some of the prospects which define mining in Africa moving forward.

Integration into the chemical space also featured prominently especially floro-chemical which has a market value of $21 billion globally.

Second was the transition to energy – green hydrogen space in particular and the value chain around it. The logistics and movement of green hydrogen and opportunity enhanced permitting in handling and storage of hydrogen for existing mining permits.

Exploration and Funding Gaps Mining Indaba 2023

The summit also addressed exploration in the global spending in the mining sector. South Africa currently lags behind DR Congo which is today’s leader in Africa in terms of exploration space – at a 2.6 percent valuation, representing $200 million.

“If you can get your exploration right, it would be your leading indicator for a healthy mining industry,” said business management consultancy Zamlim Investments CEO Dzingira Matenga, echoed by President Ramaphosa who noted.

“We will continue working with the industry on reducing backlogs in prospecting and mining applications.”

Matenga challenged commercial banks on the continent to take part in developing the mines and take more risks to boost the value chain in the sector.

“Opening this space is getting a great level of participation from commercial banks. Banks have focused more on working capital and operating mines.”

Testing, inspection and certification company Bureau Veritas also participated in this year’s Mining Indaba and promised solutions for the mining industry on the continent.

According to the firm’s Vice President Gavin Hefer, these solutions include the company’s testing, inspection and certification of metals.

“What we are basically doing is shaping a world of trust, especially applicable in the current world of uncertainty we are living in,” said Hefer.

Bureau Veritas currently operates in 44 countries African countries with over 124 years on the continent.

Mining production in South Africa in 2022 hit a record high of $65.4 billion, boosting the country’s Gross Domestic Production (GDP), exports and revenue.

DR Congo’s Stability Assurance 

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has huge mining potential representing 1,100 different mineral substances.

Speaking at the Mining Indaba 2023, DRC’s President Felix Tshisekedi challenged foreign investors to invest in local communities that struggle with negative effects of mining activities.

He, however, reiterated his idea of having local industries participate in the processing of mining products, to enable African populations benefit more from the riches of their subsoil.

“The mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo can only be profitable for you, the investors if it responds to the aspirations of the local communities affected by the mining projects.  It is in this precise context that revenue redistribution mechanisms have been inserted into my country’s legislation, for the benefit of the populations impacted by mining projects,” said President Tshisekedi.

Tshisekedi also revealed his intent to woo investors for cobalt, and lithium processing in the country.

He confirmed that exploration for two minerals – nickel and Chrome – will begin in the next few days in Congo’s Southern, Diamond-rich Kasai region and re-assured that measures had been taken to contain the insecurity situation and help the Congolese to benefit from their country’s mineral resources through rational exploitation.