October 18, 2017

Joburg Indaba 2015 set to change the 100+ year old mining industry narrative

Outcomes from the 2015 Joburg Indaba will paint a picture of how the future mining industry will be defined and what stakeholders are prepared to action.

The 2015 Joburg Indaba set to take place at the Inanda Club, Johannesburg from 14th – 15th October, aims to talk to a positive narrative in overcoming industry challenges, and progress to a better future and cross over the bridge into the “promised land”.

Founder and CEO, Paula Munsie says “The Joburg Indaba has over the past years been hugely privileged in bringing together some of the industry’s most respected CEOs, Government representatives, investors, key decision makers and independent thought leaders who have hotly debated some of the key challenges facing the mining industry.

We have succeeded in hosting bold dialogues on some of the most challenging and sensitive issues, however the success of any conversation we facilitate is entirely dependent on the outcomes.  This year, we ask participants to speak to some of the benchmarks established at the 2014 Joburg Indaba and how we as an industry are measuring up against this index”.

Tackling important factors such as remuneration, social license to operate, sustainability, resource rents and delivering shareholders returns, running a mining operation that is profitable and rewarding for all stakeholders, remains hugely challenging

“We are delighted to welcome some of the industry’s leading CEOs once more this year including Mark Bristow of Randgold Resources, who will share how he managed to build a successful business, navigating both a bull and bear market and buck the trend to deliver real shareholder returns in a challenging environment”, says Paula.

No matter in which jurisdiction they operate in, rising costs and low commodity prices remain ongoing challenges for all mining companies trying to squeeze a profit.

South Africa has its own set of unique challenges. Important factors defining the current state of affairs were evident at the close of last year’s Joburg Indaba these included the three Ps – productivity, profits and positive narrative.  Governance, sustainability, regulatory certainty, compliance, executive remuneration, productivity, mechanisation, lack of shareholder returns were just some of the hotly debated issues.

The scenario painted by participants depicted a huge herd of animals migrating, some even storming across the African plains, not a united bunch. Distinctive herds representing mining companies, employees, unions, the inevitable fat cats, and BEEs are shown kicking up dust and causing confusion rather than moving forward in any harmonious way, each dreaming of a future that is theirs alone, while investors, bankers and lawyers buzz overhead.   The scene depicts scorched earth in its wake, treacherous terrain ahead, in a storm of regulatory uncertainty, unyielding communities and rising costs.

And all the while the industry perhaps prays for rain in the form of a commodity price boom, but there’s no sign of that.

The 2014 Joburg Indaba participants looked at this sorry state of affairs and tried to paint a picture of a future they would be happy to be part of.

Bernard Swanepoel, Chairman of the Joburg Indaba says: “For even one stakeholder group to drink at the legitimate, competitive, sustainable industry waterhole of the future, all stakeholders have to be there. Realising that all stakeholders need each other and belong together should frame the trade-offs and compromises that are inevitable”.

The stakeholders agreed that without partnership, the industry will die. Productivity, profitability and positive narrative are all critical and take on a new dimension in 2015 defining the future of the mining sector.  This new context is modernisation and it is the bridge to a new mining future.

“To change the narrative of a 100+ year old industry, in a way that unleashes potential and inspires hope requires that we actually have to change, and that means us!” states Swanepoel

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