Dec 04 | 2019
Kael O'Sullivan, Director of Investor Relations, Mining Indaba
For Mining Indaba 2020, it was announced that the Investor Relations team has expanded. Please can you explain how and what will that bring to this edition?
Given the success of the Junior Mining Showcase and Investment Battlefield over the past few years, we’re expecting the number of juniors participating at Indaba to increase quite substantially in 2020. To ensure we continue to offer the same high-level Investor Relations service, our team needed to expand to cater to more juniors at the event.
There has been significant emphasis on deal-making over the past few years, how are you making it easier for people to connect?
Absolutely right. I think it has been noticeable amongst delegates and sponsors that we’ve made great strides in enhancing the deal-making element of Mining Indaba by continuing to make it easier for projects to connect with capital and vice versa. For 2020, we’ve invested heavily in the conference’s matchmaking system by refining filters, enhancing usability and improving the ‘look & feel’ of the system. We hope these improvements will make it even easier for delegates to fill their diaries with fruitful meetings during the event.
How does the Investor Relations team maximise investors and mining companies deal-making potential at Mining Indaba?
In the lead up to the conference, the team researches each company and their projects to fully understand the merits of each opportunity presented at Mining Indaba. With this knowledge and our understanding of investors’ interests, we’re able to craft meeting programmes for both investors and corporates that are highly targeted to ensure each meeting taken during the event is worthwhile for both parties.
We also continue to develop other innovative ways to promote opportunities, such as the Investment Battlefield and Analyst-led Roundtables, which have been very effective for management teams to promote their stories to a broader investor audience.
Are you currently seeing any trending patterns of investor numbers and where they are coming from at Indaba? What types of projects are they looking for?
Outside of South Africa, the traditional mining finance hubs of the UK, Australia and Canada are sending the largest numbers of investors to the 2020 Mining Indaba. We are also seeing significant interest from China as this will be the first Indaba in several years where our dates haven’t clashed with the Chinese New Year.
Shovel-ready projects with good economics will be on the top of the agenda for the majority of investors but we’re seeing a significant number looking to invest in exploration stage projects with proven teams.
What are you seeing as the biggest trends this year in terms of investment interests?
With the upward shift of the gold price over the last 12 months due to ongoing tensions between the economic superpowers of China and the United States, we’re garnering a lot of interest from international investors keen to access opportunities in this space in Africa. We also expect consolidation to continue in the sector as the bigger corporates look to add ounces to their pipelines and production profiles through strategic investments, mergers and acquisitions.
Pressure for more sustainable energy systems due to concerns about the climate continue to drive investment interest in battery technology and the materials required for its manufacture. As such, we see many investors keen to explore opportunities in copper, nickel, cobalt and lithium.
Lastly, who can apply and what is the criteria for an investor pass?
The Investor Programme is open to investors looking to take an equity stake in companies and projects across Africa including all types of institutional investors and a range of strategic investors.
We also encourage private investors, HNWIs and those representing family offices to participate if they can demonstrate at least US$1 million in liquid financial assets.