Another year of Mining Indaba has passed, and it was another busy one. From an investment standpoint, uncertainty about the future of the industry remains, however the atmosphere at the show was still very positive.
On the junior and exploration front, the general consensus was that most projects remain viable and will likely be developed soon. There is no doubt that financial uncertainty will have an affect on projects around Africa and Europe, however those with streamlined operations and quality projects should see continued funding. The perceived shortage of funding leaves investors being more careful with their spending. Gone are the days when investors would put money into any commodity or project. Now the industry is far more risk averse. Investment money is still there, but those responsible for spending have been told to be savvier with where they put their money.
The ‘large operator’ sector is going through its own mini ‘banking’ crisis, with some companies having to write off billions of dollars on projects that have not performed well. Many of these involve projects and operations in Africa. Africa is a place of opportunity and great resources, however it suffers from a fragile confidence. This can frighten international investment. In periods where confidence is high, money flows and projects advance. However, confidence can easily be shattered, changing the game completely
It is the responsibility of the service provider to help companies succeed during low confidence times. It’s crucial for professionals to have the tools they need to increase productivity and maintain high-quality operations. A more defined understanding of project potential is critical, and so is providing cost-effective methods for adding value to them.
With that said, it was no surprise that there was interest in Maptek Eureka, our newest software package geared for the exploration market. Eureka’s ability to combine disparate regional data (geophysical, drillholes, historical plans, etc.) into a single view impressed many. Prospects saw Eureka as a great tool for target generation and regional trend analysis. Being able to easily communicate the value of a project increases the chances of companies getting investment money for project growth.
With every year it’s more clear that professionals have to have the right tools to help them work smarter and more effectively, and in turn keep the industry healthy.
General Manager - Europe and Africa
February 20, 2013