It is important to acknowledge the role of genuine meetings of industry and investors in helping to build momentum and present future opportunities. Cannings Purple’s Investor Insight team explain.
Despite what has been a difficult four years for those companies reliant on capital and commodity markets, it is important to acknowledge the role of genuine meetings of industry and investors in helping to build momentum and present future opportunities.
Let’s face it, most people got conferenced-out during the resources boom, with every media and marketing company globally trying to jump on the conference gravy train and milk some dollars out of mining services companies that were eager to promote their wares.
Emerging from this new era of diligent fiscal management by junior exploration and mining companies in particular, executives have rightly scrutinised the events calendar and rationalised the spend on promotional activities.
Conferences come and go from the market with the cycle, but it’s fair to say there are a few events that should be recognised for being more than just spruik fests – those that contribute to broader discussions and deliver sincere engagement with a cross section of stakeholders.
The annual Africa DownUnder conference in Perth fits comfortably in that category and the past three days of the 14th edition of this event have reinforced that.
The appetite for investment in African resources projects has suffered more than those who have stuck with vanilla brownfield gold projects in proven low risk destinations, for example, but the lure of the continent’s significant and varied mineral endowment has kept the believers in the hunt.
Africa DownUnder offers unique access for investors to delegations from more than 15 African countries; senior trade officials and diplomats from Australia for their on-the-ground view; and a long list of genuine miners and explorers developing or looking for opportunities on the continent.
It was interesting to see the lesser known resources investment destinations – outside of the usual Sub-Saharan and West African players – in Perth this year and actively seeking to engage with the Australian resources community to attract investment.
One such destination was Ethiopia, which held a private investment lunch during the event, where those in attendance heard about the significant investment the Government had made in power infrastructure to support industrial-scale developments as well as the relatively high level of education and training in the local workforce, both essential ingredients for successful mining operations.
The mining executives in the room also pointed to the access and assistance from relevant Government departments on the ground in Ethiopia while evaluating existing tenement and geological data, which is another point of difference in the developing world.