Committee Member Andrew Dacey Reviews Indaba 2014
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….
As for the exhibition floor, which now resembles a trade show and not the place to show case your junior exploration and mining company, I spent 45mins wandering around and saw very little of interest, a quick chat to Papillion Resources and catch up with Mark Connelly being the highlight, they are making great progress in Mali. But broadly speaking it would appear that Mines & Money in London along with Investment Bank hosted events are the better venues for companies to present at. I must say it was also a disappointment not to see more countries present, this is an ideal opportunity for them to showcase their own potential and provide a CD with lots of goodies from mining law to geology to tendering opportunities, but alas the 3 countries I was interested in were conspicuously absent.
The most eagerly awaited event of the three days duly rolled around on Tuesday evening and it was a packed poolside gathering for the AMA and Trade UK drinks. Louise had done a great job getting the event sorted and set up so that by the time I arrived it was in full swing with all attendees enjoying themselves; making new acquaintances and rekindling old. As is always the case free booze tends to encourage commitments so it will be interesting to see if Howard, Isabella and Jonathan do indeed join the AMA, to others out there we’d appreciate it if you could encourage your colleagues et al to sign up.
Speaking of parties in full swing, one poor analyst will attest to this after being on the receiving end of some unwanted attention at the most genteel of hotels the Mount Nelson... So the flip-flops and sunscreen have been put away and it is back to the grind in a wet and dreary London, will I go again, absolutely, will I go into the exhibition hall again, absolutely not.
Salani kahle Cape Town