Business management consultancy Zamlim Investments CEO Dzingira Matenga is optimistic about general positive feedback at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba, where he notes there was “a lot of participation across the value chain in mining”.
“The key takeaways were really some of the opportunities that we’re seeing will be in the mega-trends space, which is going to define mining going forward. The first will really be around integration into the chemical space, where we’re likely to find that there’s going to be a lot of excitement around fluorochemicals, which is a $21-billion industry globally,” Matenga says.
Another trend, he adds, is that the energy transition isa hot topic currently.
“This is really around the green hydrogen space as well, but what’s most interesting is the value chain around that. For example, people aren’t thinking around what it means from the port capacity perspective, and for the logistics and movement of green hydrogen.”
Matenga further comments that there are also opportunities around enhanced permitting, as well as to handle and store hydrogen, as well as legislation around existing mining permits.
“Lots of excitement, lots of different opportunities, and we’ve had some very good discussions with the variety of people who are very pro where we’re going as a continent,” he enthuses.
Another opportunity is within exploration, especially considering that the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has recently set an ambitious target of 5% of global spend on exploration coming into South Africa.
South Africa currently lags behind the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 2.6% of exploration spend, amounting to about $200-million.
“The government has really opened up exploration space and has also identified opportunities to speed things up; give people their water use licences . . . the environmental permitting.”
Further, greater participation from commercial banks would assist in opening more working capital for the industry, which would assist miners on operating more mines, and even start participating earlier. Matenga tells, adding that “the more the banks can get involved, the more exciting things will get”.
Overall, he believes that being able to host the largest mining convention in the world is evidence that “people are interested in participating in and investing in this country”.
“We, as inhabitants, just need to be a little bit more confident, a little bit happier, and straighten up our backs. If we do this, we will really start to bear fruit and see the opportunities for South African mining,” Matenga concludes.