The 2020 Investing in African Mining Indaba, the world’s largest mining investment conference, on Thursday highlighted the role of youth in the mining industry.

The event offered young people an opportunity to meet with and learn from some top executives of leading mining companies.

The conference, starting here on Monday, brought together representatives from 94 countries, including more than 38 ministers, under the theme of “Optimising Growth and Investment in the Digitized Mining Economy.”

Shatadi Seakamela, a financial accounting specialist at Anglo American, a globally diversified mining business, said it is important for the youth to make their voice heard.

As one of the speakers at the conference’s Young Leaders Program, Seakamela encouraged mining companies to let diversity and innovation take the businesses to the next level.

“You do not grow by just doing the same thing you have always done,” she said.

Timothy Schultz, director of Brunswick South Africa, said mining is not just about breaking rocks and processing them, but also “winning support from communities and staff, crunching big data and attracting billions of rands of investment.”

Schultz praised South African students for their talents and skills, saying that “we need to create opportunities for them to speak about mining with top CEOs, innovators and government leaders.”

Themba Mkhwanazi, CEO of mining company Kumba Iron Ore, encouraged young people to make progress step by step.

“Do not take the elevator, take the stairs,” he said, adding that there is no shortcut in work.

Tom Quin, head of Content for Mining Indaba, said the Young Leaders in Mining Program helps students participate in the big debates about the future of mining.

Mining as an industry has a promising future in Africa, but it needs to attract talents, investment and community support if it is going to thrive, Quin said. Enditem

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