Shark-Cage Diving Out, Austerity In for Global Mining Chiefs – by Jesse Riseborough (Bloomberg News – February 4, 2016)

For two decades, Africa’s biggest mining conference has brought thousands of the industry’s top executives for deal-making, golfing and galas. This year, there’s little to celebrate.

With many miners battling to stay afloat, fewer are willing to shell out 1,140 pounds ($1,641) for the Investing in African Mining Indaba conference in South Africa and business-class airfare. Attendance is expected to be 6,000, about 15 percent less than the record in 2013.

Canadian brokerage GMP Securities Ltd.’s annual Mining Jamboree, which offered activities including shark-cage diving, golfing and wine tasting along with industry meetings, was canceled after the commodities collapse forced spending cuts.

Even though the mood is more sober, the event next week is still among the most influential in mining and will feature speeches by executives including Anglo American Plc Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani.

One item likely to be on the agenda: deals. The $1.4 trillion collapse in mining stocks since 2011 is poised to reshape the industry as companies struggle with billions of debt and years of sliding commodity prices.

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