Mining Indaba 2024 Focuses on Africa’s Role in Global Green Metal Supply

Event to Address Challenges in Unlocking Africa's Mineral Exploration Potential

by Adenike Adeodun

As the world strides towards a low-carbon economy, the focus turns to Africa, a continent brimming with untapped potential in green metals and minerals. Despite boasting significant reserves of platinum, cobalt, chromium, and other essential battery metals, Africa still lags in exploration spending. This paradox places the continent as the last untapped mineral-rich frontier for global pipelines.

Mining Indaba 2024, slated for February 5–8 in Cape Town, aims to spotlight this pressing issue. A first-of-its-kind session, ‘Africa exploration pipelines: why so empty?’, is set to drive a ‘Disruptive Discussion’ panel, addressing the critical question of Africa’s underexplored mineral wealth.

Why is Africa lagging in this race? The session will delve into major hindrances such as political instability, safety concerns, and a lack of transparent data that have stymied exploration spending on the continent. This discussion is not just an academic exercise; it’s a clarion call to unlock Africa’s vast mineral potential.

Africa’s role in the global mineral supply chain is more crucial than ever. Holding 30% of the world’s mineral reserves, the continent accounted for less than 10% of global mining exploration expenditures as of 2022. This disparity is stark, especially considering the global race to secure critical minerals for decarbonization and meet the demand for green transformation.

“The race is on to secure critical minerals which contribute towards the overarching need to dellow-carbon carbon economy. Disruptive conversations on how to open the gates to exploration in Africa are a key feature for Mining Indaba 2024,” says Eve Harper, Portfolio Director of Investing in African Mining Indaba. These conversations aim to pave the way for Africa to leverage its mineral wealth for sustainable development while fulfilling global needs.

This highly anticipated session will feature prominent voices in the mining sector, including Errol Smart, Chairperson of the Junior and Emerging Miners Leadership Forum; Josh Goldman, Co-Founder and President of Kobold Minerals; Marna Cloete, President of Ivanhoe Mines; and Al Cook, CEO of De Beers Group. Moderated by Sonia Scarselli, Vice President of BHP Xplore, the panel promises insightful and forward-thinking discussions.

According to a report by ESI Africa, Mining Indaba 2024’s exploration panel is an extension of the successful Explorer’s Showcase, which debuted in 2023. This initiative shines a light on exploration and early-stage investment in African mining. The Showcase returns in 2024, further emphasizing the need to drive investment into the continent’s mining sector at its nascent stages.

Explorers will have the opportunity to connect with a network of dealmakers to raise finance or find partners to advance their projects. Supported by BHP Xplore, the Showcase will feature private, unlisted, and listed mineral exploration companies with a market capitalization of no more than $25 million, placing them at the heart of the exhibition floor.

Mining Indaba 2024 is not just a conference; it’s a beacon for change and progress in the African mining industry. It’s an event where ideas are exchanged, partnerships are formed, and the future of mining in Africa is shaped. The Indaba offers a unique platform for stakeholders to come together and discuss how Africa can rise to the challenge and fulfil its potential as a global leader in the green metal revolution.

As the world increasingly focuses on green metals for sustainable development, Africa stands at a pivotal moment. The continent’s vast, untapped mineral wealth positions it to play a key role in the global green transformation. However, realizing this potential requires overcoming significant challenges.

Mining Indaba 2024 aims to be the catalyst for this transformation. By bringing together government leaders, investors, and industry experts, the event seeks to foster discussions that lead to tangible actions and policies. These policies will not only unlock the continent’s mineral resources but also ensure that their extraction and utilization are done sustainably and equitably.

In summary, Mining Indaba 2024 presents an opportunity for Africa to showcase its immense potential in the global mineral supply chain. The discussions and decisions made at this event could very well dictate the direction of the continent’s mining industry for years to come. It’s an opportunity for Africa to assert itself as a key player in the global effort to achieve a low-carbon economy and a sustainable future.

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