The Joburg Indaba

The beginning of October 2023 saw the eleventh year of the Joburg Indaba, an innovative and interactive conference for the mining industry.

17 Oct 2023 3 min read Mining and Minerals Alert Article

At a glance

  • This month marked the eleventh annual Joburg Indaba, an innovative and interactive conference for the mining industry.
  • A number of important topics were discussed during the event including green metals, a possible move towards secondary mining, and industry collaboration with regulators, among others.
  • In his closing keynote address, Mineral Resources and Energy Minster Gwede Mantashe highlighted the shift from "the old" to "the new" within the mining industry.

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc, one of the sponsors of the Indaba, was proud to be in attendance – experiencing first-hand the exciting developments and debates the event had to offer. 

The highlighted topics of the Indaba, inciting panel discussions and debate, were:

  • Green metals

    Currently, clean technologies are driving demand for key minerals in the industry. In this respect, discussion points included the high projected growth for these green metals as well as a move from bulk mining to smaller niche markets.

  • The possible move from primary to secondary mining

    A focused discussion was had on the transition from primary mining to recycling and tailings (waste materials left after the target mineral in primary mining has been extracted).
  • 20 years of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 (MPRDA)

    Whilst the mining industry’s contribution to South Africa’s GDP has decreased significantly over the past 10 years, a debate was held around whether the MPRDA creates a platform for growth within the industry. What is clear is that whether one supports the provisions of the MPRDA or not, proper implementation of the provisions of the MPRDA is key in the improvement of the mining sector as a whole in order to stimulate growth within the industry.

  • The critical points in the mining industry

    Energy, logistics and crime were identified as the problematic areas impacting the industry that require immediate attention. The collaboration between the industry and Government is critical in overcoming these challenges.
  • The industry vs the regulator

    This topic has a foundation in the implementation of the MPRDA. It is widely accepted that the industry requires a measurable regulatory system which is predictable in its practice throughout the country. In addition, communication needs to be harnessed and improved between the private sector and the regulator.

  • Focus on exploration

    While increased exploration is encouraged in South Africa, the focus should be on increasing investment for such exploration, which is encouraged by creating an environment for such investment.
  • The future of energy

    Whether the topic encompassed the continuation of coal in the future of energy or renewable energy, energy supply was widely discussed with the focus to go green and to strive to have diversity in the energy business.
  • Collaboration

    Collaboration is key in the mining industry. This collaboration should not only be between the private sector and the regulator but should have a specific focus on the private sector and communities (specifically regarding community interests) to build resilience within the mining industry. Due to the fact that the mining industry is constantly evolving, this open communication and collaboration between stakeholders in the industry needs to be a continual effort.

In his closing keynote address, Mineral Resources and Energy Minster Gwede Mantashe (Minister) provided a succinct overview of the Indaba’s main topics and applauded the conference for the role it has played in the industry. The take-home from the Minister’s address was the innate shift from “the old” to “the new” within the mining industry.

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