Group CEO, Manie Kriel, attended the eighth annual Junior Indaba, which took place on 1 and 2 June 2022 at the Country Club Johannesburg in Auckland Park. This year the organisers created a hybrid event that allowed people to attend both in-person and online.
The Junior Indaba is notoriously recognised for its direct discussions and straightforward update on the status of the junior mining sector and exploration in Africa.
Some of the discussion topics covered this year focused on how the global economic and geopolitical environments impact junior mining; the current commodity price boom; the global energy transition; sources of and access to finance; and the regulatory environment. The importance of ESG as an undeniable requirement for the future sustainability of mining was unpacked. The Junior Indaba follows the Investing in African Mining Indaba 2022, which took place in Cape Town between 9 and 12 May this year.
The event was well attended by many, including mining executives from junior to mid-tier and large-scale mining companies, exploration firms, investors, the mining services industry consultants, government entities and legal advisories. It was disappointing that Minister Gwede Mantashe did not honour his commitment to deliver his highly anticipated keynote address on 2 June 2022. Junior Miners wanted to engage with the Minister on important topics such as the recently published Exploration Strategy, lack of transparent information and Cadastre system and reliable rail and port infrastructure. Juniors were left questioning the Minister’s capacity to provide leadership for both mining and energy. The sentiment was that the Minister is fully occupied with the national energy crisis, which does not leave him sufficient time to serve the mining industry.
Manie attended the event not only for the hard-hitting and straight-talking discussions but also as part of his Ph.D. study on the junior mining sector in South Africa. In 2019, Manie assisted the Minerals Council of South Africa with research in the junior mining sector that focused on the specific challenges faced by the junior mining sector in the country. From the research a report was published, “The extent, nature and economic impact of the junior and emerging mining sector in South Africa .” Part of Manie’s current dissertation includes understanding the frustrations of junior miners and what the barriers to entry are.
The Junior Indaba, in VBKOM’s opinion, is a worthwhile mining industry event to attend where great lessons and insights are shared by industry leaders.
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