Africa is a vital part of Australia's mining industry

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Absa's Shirley Webber (Head of Coverage, Natural Resources) recently attended the Africa Down Under (ADU) conference in Perth, Australia. ADU – the largest African-focused mining event outside the Continent – focusses on Australia's interests in African mining and energy.

“Africa is a very important part of their portfolios,” says Webber.

“Apart from the usual precious metals, there was a focus on the newer types of commodities such as graphite and lithium. Not all banks are comfortable with those types of commodities.”

Webber described Absa's efforts in trying to understand those complex geologies when deciding which projects to finance.

Australian companies are interested in Africa; however, political and regulatory stability remains a concern.

“If the IMF has difficulty being positive about a country, it has a ripple effect on how banks rate projects in that country. Governments have an absolute responsibility to try and create the best investment atmosphere to make sure the people get a benefit from natural resources.

“We evaluate every project on its merits,” says Webber. “Absa is open for business if it's comfortable with a country and the management of the entity looking for finance.”

For more detail, watch the video below. Shirley Webber (Head of Coverage, Natural Resources, Absa Corporate and Investment Banking) in discussion with Tawanda Madondo (Natural Resources, Absa Corporate and Investment Banking) about the future of mining in Africa and Australia's interests in African mining and energy.