SAIIA at the 2016 African Mining Indaba

Photo © Christina B Castro/ Flickr

Despite a constrained low-commodity price environment, and substantial asset impairments among some of the world’s major mining houses, the annual African Mining Indaba will take place from 8-11 February in Cape Town.

The conference aims to connect investors with mining companies and governments. On the side lines of this conference, SAIIA will host two important events.

The first, a public event on 8 February, addresses the complex question of mining in South Africa’s coastal zones. Mining projects are increasingly encroaching on sensitive biodiversity areas, which raises difficult development questions of how to manage the trade-offs that invariably need to be made. SAIIA has a diverse panel of experts representing all the relevant spheres of governance and affected stakeholders. They will address these development questions before the discussion is opened to the floor.

Register for SAIIA’s public event, ‘Contested Spaces: Mining and South Africa’s Coastal Zones’, on 8 February. Read the keynote address by South African Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane, at the opening of the Indaba.

The second, an invitation-only Change Makers Forum on 11 February, provides an opportunity for policymakers to find a way forward in relation to the implementation of the African Mining Vision, which aims to harness mineral wealth for inclusive development. This year’s Change Makers Forum will take as its point of departure the prospect of implementing a compact between corporate and government stakeholders that serves both parties, but also addresses environmental impacts and the needs of near-mine communities.

SAIIA’s Governance of Africa’s Resources Programme (GARP) is committed to ensuring that mining contributes to inclusive and sustainable development. We believe that how the industry is governed – at a continental, regional and country level – will largely determine whether the mutual goals of inclusivity and sustainability are realised. By ‘inclusivity’ we mean that access to economic opportunities flowing from mining should broadly benefit a country’s population. By ‘sustainability’ we mean that both environmentally and financially, mining should not be an enclave industry that extracts and departs. It should generate benefits well beyond the life-of-mine and never damage the environment beyond repair, especially if the opportunity costs are high (in terms of eco-tourism potential and biodiversity preservation, for instance). Both events that we are hosting will contribute to these ends.

Related mining research

SAIIA has released a number of papers that deal with the governance of extractive projects that entail difficult trade-offs, along with broader research that addresses how to harness mineral extraction for inclusive development:

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