GOLD SPONSOR INTERVIEW: “The Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited (IDC) is keen to invest in mining projects in the DRC, in particular copper, cobalt, and zink mining including related infrastructure.”

Mazwi Tunyiswa, IDC, DRC Mining Week1)  Welcome to DRC Mining Week as a gold sponsor. Why the decision to partner with us?
The IDC’s metals value chain strategy goal is to fund projects that will make the metals value chain and downstream manufacturing globally competitive. Part of our work therefore requires us to fund mining projects that could supply raw material to our basic metals sector at competitive prices in a sustainable manner. As you know the DRC has some of the best copper, cobalt, tin resources in the world. We are therefore looking for such projects and this conference gives us a platform to market our services and hopefully find projects to invest in.

2)  Can you give us some background on the IDC , your mandate and activities?
The Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited (IDC) was established in 1940 by an Act of Parliament (Industrial Development Corporation Act, No. 22 of 1940).

We were established to spearhead the development of domestic industrial capacity and For more than 77 years, we have been instrumental in implementing South Africa’s industrial policy, establishing some of the industries that have since become cornerstones of the country’s manufacturing sector. These include the petro-chemicals and minerals beneficiation industries. Apart from large industrial projects in these industries, we have also been instrumental in the establishment of other industries such as fabricated metals, agro-industries, clothing and textiles.

In the 1990s, our mandate was expanded to allow investment in the rest of Africa. We rely on funds generated from our loan and equity investments, exits from mature investments as well as borrowings from commercial banks, other development finance institutions (DFIs) and other lenders, to fund our activities.
 
Our funding activities are mainly to the private sector, but we also work closely with different levels of government, government agencies and sector organisations to ensure a co-ordinated approach. In addition, we support government in other areas related to its development objectives such as research and fund management.

Our role in the rest of Africa is to proactively develop and implement strategies that create and integrate value chains across the continent. By taking advantage of each individual country’s strengths, a more competitive industrial base throughout the region can be ensured.

3)  Are there any particular mining projects that your organisation is involved in that you are particularly excited about currently?
The Alphamin tin mine in the east of DRC is one of the projects we are really excited about. It is one of the best tin mines in the world. We hope that DRC’s stability remains in place for the success of such projects and future ones. In RSA we have several projects such as Kalagadi Manganese, several coal projects including New Largo.  

4)  What in your view are the main challenges to the African mining sector? And the DRC in particular?
The biggest challenge remains political stability and risk in most African countries. If we get that right most of the work we do in mining investments will be easy. The second challenge is availability of industrial infrastructure such as road, rail, electricity and water. These can be solved if we resolve the first problem of stability. If I were in charge I would make sure we have a stable political environment and policies then foreign direct investments would easily follow. Thirdly as we all know mining is a long term game and its cyclical therefore project promoters should have the right mental framework and enough capital to go all the way. The shortage of capital in early stage project development remains a challenge for most projects in Africa.

5)  What is your vision for the sector?
My vision is to see a thriving mining industry in Africa that benefits all stakeholders, including the shareholders, communities where mining happens, governments, environment, etc. This is a pre-condition for a sustainable mining industry that creates profits and sustainable employment. If the stakeholders are not aligned and there seem to be an undue/or disproportionate benefit for one stakeholder than the other then we will not have a sustainable and thriving industry.

6)  Where in Africa is IDC active?

The IDC is active in most African countries, however, we can do more and we hope conferences like this will help us in marketing our products and identifying the relevant stakeholders to partner with.

7)  What will be IDC's message at the event this year?
We wish all the participants a fruitful conference and may they be successful in their mining endeavours. The IDC is keen to invest in mining projects in the DRC, in particular copper, cobalt, and zink mining including related infrastructure.