Positive under-the-radar trends for mining in Africa in 2024

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Mining news - While mineral exploration investments and discoveries predominate headlines for Africa’s mining prospects successful 2024, underlying advancement successful strengthening nan sector’s early is little visible. Image: SRK.

While mineral exploration investments and discoveries drawback nan headlines connected Africa’s mining prospects for 2024, location is little visible advancement being made that promises to fortify nan sector’s future.

Africa’s important and varied mineral endowment is undisputed, and nan twelvemonth up will apt spot ongoing advancement successful exploration and excavation development. This will beryllium successful some ‘traditional’ metals and successful those minerals associated pinch nan world power transition. According to S&P Global, nan continent is location to nan world’s astir highest people of mid-sized golden reserves. At nan aforesaid time, it besides hosts much than half nan planet’s platinum group metal, manganese and cobalt reserves – which are captious for definite artillery retention technologies.

By nan extremity of 2022, location was a patient task pipeline of almost 600 projects led by golden and copper-cobalt, but besides including coal, diamonds, PGMs and guidelines metals. The exploration walk astatine that clip was rising astatine astir 12% year-on-year, driven chiefly by backing retired of Canada followed by Australia, nan United Kingdom and South Africa.

Islands of prosperity

So location is each logic to consciousness assured that mining is an manufacture pinch a awesome woody still to lend to Africa’s economical improvement – moreover if nan advancement is uneven betwixt countries and regions. Perhaps nan much important questions astir mining’s prospects for nan coming twelvemonth subordinate to nan instauration that we are creating for nan longer term.

As mining has grown crossed nan continent, it often creates islands of prosperity that guidelines retired starkly from nan existing socio-economic landscape. Mines pull not only job-seekers and prospective suppliers and beneficiaries, but besides informal artisanal miners; nan consequence is simply a scope of environmental, societal and different impacts that are analyzable to manage.

Neither do these impacts stay only locally significant. As mineral-consuming corporates and end-users go much concerned to guarantee ethical standards successful procurement, truthful these in-country conditions pull world attention. These issues are conscionable 1 facet of nan environmental, societal and governance (ESG) priorities that are now considered by mining operations – including quality rights, decarbonisation and proviso concatenation localisation.

Mining and society

As we look up to 2024, it is important to bespeak connected nan advancement that nan assemblage is making successful addressing these challenges. From our acquisition successful SRK Consulting, location is surely overmuch to commend mining’s advances to day – notwithstanding nan difficulties yet to beryllium resolved.

Consider, for example, really nan purely method attraction successful areas specified arsenic engineering, mining and processing has evolved. The business of mining has coming mostly embraced a overmuch broader knowing of really mining tin support broader societal goals and amended prosecute pinch nan community. This has led to nan integration of disciplines relating to water, biology and societal science, which now make an basal publication to nan measurement that mines are planned and operated.

In this sense, mining is ever being positively disrupted by advances successful expertise, attack and exertion – albeit usually astatine a gradual pace. Importantly, location person been galore changes crossed an ever-wider spectrum of master fields, arsenic we bring much disciplines to carnivore connected our cardinal extremity of responsible and businesslike mining. This ongoing improvement of expertise successful a broader scope of disciplines is besides contributing to advancement successful solving antecedently intractable challenges for illustration artisanal mining.

Pioneering standards

Mining institutions person played an important domiciled successful continuously raising nan ESG barroom alongside nan industry’s technological advances. Standards of business believe are ever being developed and reviewed successful nan ray of world trends, and nan sector’s starring companies perpetrate to these and give sizeable resources to applying them.

In Africa’s mining sector, this is peculiarly important – arsenic location are still galore countries wherever regulatory frameworks to govern in-country mineral exploration and extraction are not yet good developed. The value of manufacture codes is that they tin raise capacity levels, irrespective of nan capacity of nan big state to legislate and constabulary these requirements. 

We person seen an illustration of this precocious pinch nan Global Industry Standard connected Tailings Management (GISTM), wherever nan assemblage worked pinch stakeholders to create much stringent and far-reaching requirements.

Members of nan International Council connected Mining and Metals (ICMM) committed themselves to comply, and these standards will successful clip go nan caller benchmark for nan full sector. There are fewer countries whose nationalist aliases manufacture regulations are arsenic demanding arsenic nan GISTM, which has galvanised important advancement successful a very short time.

Shifting priorities

Over our 5 decades successful business, SRK has seen really our mining clients’ needs and priorities person shifted, and we person responded by expanding our mining-related expertise by drafting connected further disciplines.

An illustration of nan company’s early foresight was nan embracing of societal subject successful mining. As early arsenic 1995, it was employing its first societal and developmental specialist, who went connected to go a partner of nan patient and thief guideline strategy and focus. This assignment was afloat supported by SRK’s laminitis members, who encouraged this guidance agelong earlier it recovered its measurement into ineligible conformance requirements.

High standards are besides captious for mining arsenic our effect is truthful concentrated – dissimilar sectors for illustration nan building manufacture wherever antagonistic externalities thin to beryllium much diffuse. Mines are ample operations and galore person agelong life-spans; their impacts are heavy and varied, and are highly visible to all.

In nan twelvemonth to come, manufacture will proceed to activity – often nether nan radar – to find integrated solutions that lend to resilience successful nan sector. As outlined here, specified existent resilience will beryllium based upon costs competitiveness that is achieved successful nan discourse of an outer situation that requires sustainable biology and societal practices.

Importantly, mining will proceed to advancement successful supplying minerals captious to nine and successful its modulation to much responsible and sustainable practices.

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