With less than two weeks before the first Investing in Asian Mining Indaba (October 29-31) opens, organizers are preparing to welcome up to 1000 delegates to the Singapore event designed to turnaround the chronic underinvestment in the region.
The Indaba is set to create awareness of the roles large Asian economies are playing in the global mining sector, with North Asian members China, Korea and Japan already establishing a record of major outbound investments.
Analysts say these countries are leading the establishment of joint ventures and strategic partnerships with junior mining companies, and are becoming the primary source of financing for new mines that are not controlled by intermediate producers.
“The key driver of North Asian investment flows is the need to secure supplies of key mineral and metal production into these North Asian economies,” says Deloitte mining mergers and acquisitions global leader Jeremy South. An increasing awareness of the growing importance of Mongolia in the global mining sector is also emerging.
“Mongolia hosts some of the world’s largest undeveloped mining projects, and significant investment from neighbouring countries, China and Russia, as well as investment from Canadian and Australian mining companies, is likely to fund the development of a significant mining industry in Mongolia over the coming years,” says Jeremy South.
Meanwhile, in South East Asia, global diversified mining groups are operating and continuing to invest in the more established mining jurisdictions of Indonesia and the Philippines, while junior investors are targeting less established countries like Cambodia and Laos.
The region has enormous resources potential, as it possesses high-quality mineral assets in a multitude of commodities, from copper to platinum-group metals, which are largely untapped as a result of historical underinvestment in exploration and infrastructure.
The Investing in Asian Mining Indaba will provide a platform for Asian mining companies to attract investors while also providing industry participants with knowledge on existing opportunities regarding the supply of the financial capital, skills, project management experience, education, training, social development and physical infrastructure development needed to support the sector.
“Unprecedented demand for iron ore, coal, uranium and other natural resources further augment the importance of stimulating more mining activity in Asia. We intend to achieve the same goals we achieved in Africa more than 18 years ago, which was to channel foreign investment into African mining to help meet these supply challenges,” says African Mining Indaba chief executive officer Jonathan Moore.