2018 could prove to be a “watershed year” for the African mining sector, as leading analysts believe the continent believe that we are witnessing some of the best mining prospects in over a decade.
Mark Buncombe, Group Head, Mining and Metals for Standard Bank, believes that the mining sector has continued to become an integral piece to the sustained growth of the continent, and we have a rise in commodity prices to thank for it.
“For the first time in a decade most commodities, bar platinum, have seen significant price recover,” says Buncombe.
“At the same time, miners have done a lot of work cutting costs with margins, globally on the increase.”
Buncombe does concede that, while a “protracted absence in prospecting” will evidently hang heavy over the industry for the foreseeable future, “reduced debt levels mean that going into 2018 balance sheets are generally stronger too.”
Africa’s growing (and booming) mining space is evident across countries such as Botswana, Ghana, Cote d’lvoire and Namibia, which offer a degree of stability and political certainty, have been identified as countries which will benefit the most in 2018.
“Those markets - like Botswana, Namibia and increasingly Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Zambia, for example - that have developed balanced legislative regimes cognisant of the industry’s long investment cycles while also talking to local national development goals are likely to attract global interest,” said Buncombe.
Africa’s domestic mining landscape, and the impending benefits that 2018 will bring, is coinciding with a “unique period of synchronised global growth, presenting a number of opportunities.”