Last week I returned from the Mining Indaba in Cape Town. Tracy Weslosky has asked me whether I would write a piece, or “my take” on Indaba and I’ve managed to put it off hoping she would forget about it. However, Tracy, for those who have had the pleasure to work with her, does not forget anything when it comes to publishing.
So here I am, making due on my commitment to produce a piece on the “Mining Indaba according to Lara” and in some small way offering our readership a more personal window into my otherwise public persona as a “mining analyst. ”On the surface, at least compared to last year, the Mining Indaba showed signs of exuberance.
The weather played ball, the setting in Cape Town was idyllic, companies were out in full force, attendance was up 40% on last year, you could not get a dinner seat at the V&A Waterfront for love or money, the exhibit hall was completely full, companies were still cutting costs on peripherals such as corporate gifts and licking their wounds from the last few years, but they were there.
I was also present at the second day of the 121 Meeting, a conference, which for the past three years has overlapped with Indaba, and is focused on bringing investors and companies together. This was extremely well attended and indeed has grown substantially since its inception.
Many junior hopefuls had the budget to attend and the investors were interested and seemingly had the pockets to commit to projects. I attended a few investor meetings with one of our investor clients, looking specifically for a junior copper/cobalt play and I could see the level of competition to invest in these juniors was far more intense than in the previous few years.
Attending the Indaba presentations in the main hall, companies reiterated a few times, and indeed I tweeted about this, that “Chinese money is looking for a home” and “even though resources have been downtrodden, investment is coming up as investors scramble for a bargain.
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