So another year and another Indaba has gone by, but was it any different this year?
On paper it looks like a huge success, almost 8,000 registered with probably that number again “attending” and lounging by the side of the Cullinan pool. Talking to attendees one received a very mixed view, particularly dependent on whether one was buy side or sell side, though the service providers, who seem to be growing in number each year, all had smiles on their faces as they enjoyed the Cape Town weather, presumably they were from the north hemisphere where sun and chardonnay in February is a novelty.
Generally exploration companies had an optimistic air about themselves talking about a window of opportunity and that accessing capital looked likely – how this will translate in reality we shall soon see, it was definitely not a view shared by every fund manager or analyst. Meanwhile development stories seemed to be getting a little more traction with talk of one or two West African gold companies making good headway. The NE of Africa is starting to get a little more attention and this despite the recent troubles in Egypt and South Sudan; the geologic prospectivity of the region is well known and companies it would appear are starting to take a good look at the opportunities which exist. As usual investment banks were there in force talking about how this will be the year of M&A, for the third time running….