Axora in South Africa during Mining Indaba: Here’s what we validated

Elliot Hunt, our Head of Commercial and South Africa, takes us on his travels around South Africa.

In February this year, I went to South Africa again with Axora.

We have an extensive network in the region and are working with several large mining customers out there to have our finger on the pulse with big news and events taking place. This blog provides some quick insights from mining experts who we have on the ground in South Africa.

During my recent trip, I was able to see people in the region, expand and build upon our strong network in the region. And we did that with our action-packed week!

I was joined by Axora’s Innovation Director for Mining, Joe Carr, and we readied ourselves for a combination of pre-planned meetings and events.

During the week we met a huge number of our partners and mining companies who all re-affirmed to us that focusing on ESG solutions, which would also have an impact on cost reduction or increased efficiency, was the right area to focus on. We have seen a huge increase in the need to drive ESG and with the anecdotal conversations about the inability to wholescale move away from coal and the like, we can see the continued driving of our ESG solutions is essential in helping a region that had no other options. We also learnt that water management, treatment and biodiversity were some key themes for the mining industry.

As the week went on and I moved from event to event on the V&A waterfront, you could be mistaken for thinking that South Africa didn’t have any power issues. However, from my previous visits to Johannesburg and many re-arranged meetings due to load-shedding, I knew otherwise.

It was only in the last day when I was kindly taken to Shackleton Brewery Company in Salt River that I experienced the load-shedding again. Upon speaking to the locals, they told me load-shedding ramped up massively this year and the energy crisis is a real struggle. I had even heard that top grade coal was being replaced by lower grade coal, sometimes even just rocks, meaning that Eskom can’t power the country.

This trip showed me that we do see a huge shift in the tide for mining in South Africa. Action must be taken quickly for mining to become more efficient and to make a real impact on the ESG front.

See you all again in April, when I’m in the Rustenburg area.

Elliot Hunt, Head of South Africa, Axora