Being an intercontinental magazine means that often the editorial staff at George Media will come upon like-minded organizations who strive to promote the goals of countries trying to establish themselves in the resource industry. MineAfrica happens to be the foremost business development company in Canada trying to raise the platform for mining companies, service providers and governments trying to promote themselves to a senior level, Africa-focussed audience of analysts, financial institutions, mining executives and media. We had the opportunity to sit down with the principals of MineAfrica, Bruce Shapiro and Wayne Floreani, to discuss why their role in MineAfrica is so important to the health of the African-Canadian resource network.
The two-man team pack a wicked punch when it comes to value-adds to their clients. They offer mining and specialized seminars, and business development and consulting services. The events MineAfrica produce are well-attended and regarded, and both Shapiro and Floreani realize how important their role is in the networking space. Shapiro is originally South African, and has a business background. He is also the president of the Canada-South Africa Chamber of Business which promotes trade and investment between Canada and Southern Africa.
Bruce Shapiro: My involvement with the chamber started in 1999, when I started going to their meetings and was asked to sit on the board of directors where I met Wayne, who was also active in the chamber and working with the Trade Section of the South African Consulate in Toronto.
Sara Kopamees: So what’s the underlying philosophy behind the organization?
BS: We developed our philosophy after what I had noticed with the chamber. African groups were coming to speak to me who were trying to establish themselves but didn’t have that grassroots support they needed to go forward. African governments don’t always have the resources to promote themselves. So our philosophy was to service those groups so they could better promote themselves to potential partners.
BS: Through MineAfrica we also offer shared booth space at the PDAC [Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada] annual trade show. This allows governments and companies a cost-effective presence at the largest mining investment show in the world as well enhanced networking opportunities.
SK: Why have offices in Toronto? Why not overseas?
Wayne Floreani: MineAfrica offers a platform for our clients who have an interest in mining in Africa. We promote mining investment in Africa – including working with service providers, companies, or an African government trying to get foreign investment. We don’t have to be headquartered in Toronto, but we are because most of the companies we represent are listed on the TSX. The TSX is the largest source of equity financing for the mining industry. We do offer programs outside of Toronto, namely Vancouver and London, UK.
BS: Our core services all revolve around business development, and we are unique in that way.
SK: Obviously networking opportunities are a huge reason for your clients to get involved with you.
BS: Yes – we help the clients that work with us meet engineers, financiers - from the explorers to the bankers, we have a large network and know key people.
WF: That’s our main goal – to help these organizations and companies network, make useful contacts to further their business. Through our specialized seminars we also provide technical content and address timely issues such as surviving the global financial crisis in the mining industry.
BS: Except that unlike other organizations, we’re apolitical, as is the chamber.
SK: What about with the current global economic crisis? That might be a political issue, but on the larger scale, do you deal with that?
WF: We are definitely helping companies deal with the current economic situation. For example MineAfrica just ran a seminar on Financing Opportunities for Mining Ventures and Going Public with the TSX Venture Exchange CPC Program. We are also involved as a sponsor and organizer for the Chamber’s annual seminar on Risk Mitigation and Corporate Social Responsibility in Africa. which helps companies operate safely in challenging environments, protect assets and people in Africa, and implement successful, cost-effective CSR programs.
BS: But we only deal with business issues – not political.
SK: What about outside of Africa? Any plans to expand?
BS: The chamber has realized over time that their members aren’t just South African focussed – many of them operate in other African countries. Last year the chamber board passed a resolution broadening its focus to cover Southern Africa – in fact the Botswana Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources was the keynote speaker at our annual mining breakfast in 2009.
WF: Absolutely. In the case of MineAfrica our two core strengths are mining and Africa. Our plans are to build on this by either expanding sectorally or geographically but maintaining one of those core strengths. For example our recent Mining Financing Seminar was not limited to Africa, it covered projects from around the world. We have a full slate of programs for 2009-2010.
SK: So why are organizations going to choose MineAfrica instead of some other provider?
WF: Put simply, clients get better value with us than they can possibly get with anyone else. They get a personal, ongoing cost-effective relationship and reach a targetted audience of senior decision makers from the mining and financial communities.
For more information on MineAfrica offerings, visit www.mineafrica.com or see the attached sidebars.
INVESTING IN AFRICAN MINING SEMINARS
Our Investing in African Mining Seminars feature corporate presentations and Africa project updates and opportunities by public and private mining companies, technical presentations on doing business in Africa (changing legislation, financing mining projects, risk mitigation, CSR, etc) by service providers (banks, law firms, engineering firms) and presentations by African governments on geological resources and specific investment opportunities.
Sep. 18, 2009 – Toronto, Canada
November 30, 2009 – London, UK
March 9, 2010 – Toronto, Canada
AFRICA INVESTOR SERIES
Our Africa Investor Series in Toronto is a forum for listed mining companies to present to a senior level audience of mining analyst, investment bankers, fund & asset managers, mining companies and media with an interest in mining in Africa. The series is co-sponsored by the Minerals Resources Analysts Group (MRAG) and association of senior mining analysts in Canada.
ABOUT OUR SPECIALIZED SEMINARS
In addition to our Investing in African Mining and Africa Investor Series Seminars MineAfrica also organizes specialized seminars focussing on technical topics including Financing Opportunities for Mining Ventures and Going Public with the TSX Venture CPC Program, Surviving the Global Financial Crisis, Risk Mitigation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). These seminars cover the global mining industry and are not limited to Africa.
MineAfrica's business development and consulting services includes trade and investment promotion, marketing and communications, investor relations, technical consulting and advisory services for private and public sector, mining and non-mining clients. Specific services include; business development trips and meetings with the Toronto mining and financial communities, representation in the Canadian market, investor relations and marketing, joint ventures and matchmaking, assistance with listings, organizing specialized seminars, trade missions or trade show representation for clients.
We also publish an annual Special Report on Mining in Africa with Canadian Business Magazine each February.
We also offer you a targeted, cost-effective platform to promote your company, country or services to a senior level audience of mining and financial executive and government representatives with an interest in mining in Africa via website sponsorship and email campaigns.
MineAfrica contact information:
769 Euclid Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6G 2V3
(By Sara Kopamees)