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Nusrat Ghani MP, UK Minister of State for the Department for Business & Trade, Attends Indaba

Earlier this month, thousands of participants of the global mining industry converged in Cape Town for Indaba 2023. One of the conference’s platinum sponsors included the former UK Department for International Trade (DIT), showcasing the UK government’s increasing interest in the mining space. As a platinum sponsor, DIT were able to host a UK pavilion at Indaba to facilitate relationship-building between government, industry, and finance.

The team from former UK Government department DIT at their stand ‘UK -- Leading in Responsible Mining’.

This year’s conference was one of the most successful to date, and focused on investing in African mining. Indaba 2023 welcomed 220 mining companies and 350 investors, as well as Heads of State, high commissioners, and ambassadors from across Africa and the globe-- including the UK’s own Minister for State for the Department for Business and Trade, Nusrat Ghani MP-- to unify and bolster industry efforts through dialogue and collaboration. The Critical Minerals Association assisted in organising meetings between Minister Ghani and our attending members, such as Circulor.

The week’s presentations, panel discussions, and conversations consistently flagged the importance of actualising ESG and diversifying the value chain. The presence of UK government was paralleled by the presence of their international allies and partners, and favourably sign-posted the desire for international collaboration and integration of alternative supply chains. The UK demonstrated its commitment at the Minerals Security Partnership and its ongoing support for the UK-South Africa Partnership for Minerals for Clean Energy Technologies.

The conference also allowed the UK to showcase the unique advantages of its industry, from its progressive ESG standards to its world-leading technical expertise. Africa is a vital continent to the success of the global energy transition-- a point that was highlighted during the Overseas Diplomatic Panel at the CMA's 2nd annual conference last November (chaired by Joseph Mansour from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office). The UK Government needs to advance bilateral relations and collaborations with African nations moving forward in order to achieve our national critical mineral ambitions and global net zero targets.

SRK Consulting's stand

One of CMA's members, SRK Consulting, also had the opportunity to speak at Indaba. Managing Director Andrew van Zyl highlighted the likelihood of price volatility due to increasing demand of critical minerals, and therefore the importance of responsibly growing mining production. He explained that the growing impacts of climate change means that mines need to become more resilient and climate-adaptative, which includes innovation in risks such as water management. Decarbonisation must remain a strategic imperative for the mining sector; thankfully we are already beginning to see certain projects sourcing their energy from wind and solar power.

The CMA is delighted to see this drive from the UK and its allies in advancing the vision of alternative, responsible, and sustainable critical mineral supply chains. We hope to continue to contribute to global dialogue, collaboration, and development.

To find out more about the Critical Minerals Association and how to join as a member, head to our website here.

Article by Eileen Maes, Communications & Public Affairs Associate, Critical Minerals Association

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