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AfricaMoney | June 23, 2015

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Mauritius plays host to Africa-focused mining investment summit

Mauritius plays host to Africa-focused mining investment summit

Mines and Money Access Africa, an Africa-focused mining conference that attracted some of the highest calibre global mining and investment professionals, allowed for ample networking opportunities along the idyllic coastline of Mauritius, making it an annual event on the mining conference calendar that is not be missed. ( Image: Company)

Mines and Money Access Africa, the Africa-focused mining investment summit in the financial centre of Mauritius, was held over 8-11 June 2015 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Balaclava.

Themed ‘Mauritius-Gateway to Africa’, more than fifty local and international participants were present at the event.

Mines and Money Access Africa is dedicated to investment and capital raising for African mining projects and is the only summit that links mining companies, Chinese SOEs, international investors and financiers in exclusive private meetings – all in the international financial centre of Mauritius.

On the main conference day, there were discussions pertaining to overall risks of African Projects where the senior analyst of Anarcho Capital from Singapore, Jayant Bhandari, highlighted that companies must invest in good management. In turn, management should push bureaucrats to sign off the right regulations. There may be a lot of cash available in the market but investors want ready returns and management should be willing to understand and act on this change in investor mindset.

Anthony Desir, Partner at Sami African Mining Solutions in Hong Kong, spoke about the Power Africa initiative, where he highlighted that infrastructure does not only provide a bridge or electricity but rather gives access.

Power is about empowerment, he went on to note, and China being a resource investor is the dominant investor in Africa. He also noted that if China had not come to Africa and committed funds, the continent would still have been backward.

Jin Xi, the project manager of CNNC International in China, presented an analysis of the Global Uranium market and indicated that the global Uranium production in 2014 stood at $ 145 m and the price of Uranium dipped as from 2011 upon the Fukushima disaster with market volatility being higher than ever.

Shamima Mallam Hassam, the managing director of Board of Investment, spoke about accessing Africa through Mauritius and highlighted that BOI will open 8 offices in different countries, namely Beijing, Geneva, Pretoria, London, Moscow, Mumbai, New York and Paris. These opportunities come at the right time and Mauritius is catering for the growing international requirements with the South Africa financial treaty  having been finalised.

There was also a discussion panel addressing the infrastructure deficit in Africa with comments stating that Africa is rich in national resources but has poor infrastructure and investors hesitate to invest in Africa as there is no security for capital.

However, Africa has a significant proportion of global resources but it contributes less in global supply according to the resource proportion.

Finally, Shamin Sookia, the head of listing at the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, highlighted that the SEM is an attractive and competitive platform for raising capital for mining companies where there are a set of rules already available for listing such companies on the market.

SEM is one of the open exchanges of Africa and is the only exchange in the continent which allows multi-currency listing, trading, and settlement. The SEM also encourages cross listing.

He highlighted that “we want to present Mauritius as a whole package with DTA and other benefits.”

The event was the perfect introduction to Mauritius and displayed the superb financial and operating gateway in Africa which the industrious nation has established in recent years, coupled with plenty of networking opportunities and strong informative presentations, which was a valuable event for both new and experienced personnel on the continent.


-By Wazna Gunga

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