Gowling WLG partner and head of natural resources Charles Bond recently joined Mining Journal's head of research Chris Cann for its London Stock Exchange special.

Along with London Stock Exchange's head of business development, Tom Attenborough, and Kore Potash CEO Brad Sampson, Charles discusses the advantages of listing in London and why it's different from listing in other key resources exchanges around the world, as well as what work there is to do in this area.


Chris Cann: Hello and welcome to our London Stock Exchange special. My name is Chris Cann from Mining Journal. With me I have Charles Bond who is Partner and Head of Natural Resources with Gowling. I have Tom Attenborough who is Head of Business Development with the London Stock Exchange and Brad Sampson who is Chief Executive of Kore Potash.

Chris: Welcome everyone and thanks for joining us for this. I wanted to start by just covering off why listing in London is different from listing in the other key resources exchanges around the world and covering off both why you might want to do it, the advantages and also having a look at some of the areas where there might be some work to do. I think maybe I'll start with Charles given, Tom, I think you might struggle with the work to do part.

Charles Bond: So London is a premium venue for coming to market around the world and I think everyone recognises how important it is if you're in London, you know, it attracts a huge amount of institutional capital into the city here, it's got a very deep advisory base for companies and generally it has a choice of markets here as well so even if you're small or very large there's a great choice of market for you.

Chris: And how does that differ if you're...I mean Toronto has...it's a huge breadth of market. Australia would claim the same, doesn't have the institutional focus. I mean maybe looking at Toronto, why would you look at London over Toronto for example?

Charles: I think you've made one of the points there yourself which is, is the difference in investor base? Not saying Toronto and Canada doesn't have institutions but it's just the depth of them here in London and, you know, you have a lot of junior minors who go to the TSX maybe out of Vancouver or Toronto or wherever that maybe and they can raise a lot of early stage retail capital but when they get to the serious money and as course the project financing that has to go with the development and going into production of a mine tends to be a bigger market here and a better choice of market.

Chris: Ok. Tom?

Tom Attenborough: We've seen two Canadian companies list on London in the last couple of months. Pure Gold Mining listed a few weeks ago, that's gone well and, indeed, the Chief Executive of that business at the time said that one of the reasons he was doing it was really to broaden access to investors through London, add some liquidity here and give themselves a platform to raise further growth capital. This morning, actually at the Exchange, we hosted Taseko Mines, which listed today, again with a view not raising capital at this stage but to build up a presence, build up a following, take advantage of some of the factors that we have just mentioned around the quality of the eco system advisory base here, build that up over time, build liquidity and have a platform to raise capital going forward.

Chris: Brad?

Brad Sampson: I'd like to build on a comment that Charles, in particular, made. And it's not just the scale of the financial community here and the access to large amounts of capital when you need them for project development, it's a...typically in the resources space if you have an Australian company or a Canadian company you are in a resource dominated economy. You're in a market that really understands the resource space but tends to understand it very locally. What you have in London is a broadened understanding of different geography. Different political environments within which we operate and a willingness to invest across all of those boundaries and it gives us access to pools of capital that are not one sector specific and that's a big part of the reason why we came here and why Kore Potash came to the London Stock Exchange.

Chris: You're saying the...an understanding of diverse risk environments across the world but London would be most readily associated, obviously, with whatever's happening in Europe but in Africa I think mainly but then you'd have the Toronto market servicing the Americas and Australia kind of looking after that part of the world. Would that be fair or are there reasons why you would look at a London listing, maybe a primary listing ahead of doing something in different parts of the world away from Africa or is it really that kind of geography, is that the story for this market?

Brad: May I pick that up? I think it's broader than it is the latter, it's that sometimes you will see Australian companies listing on the London Stock Exchange they'll have Australian based projects in Australia but in a commodity where they feel there'll be better appreciation for the commodity, better appreciation for the investment case here in London and they will come to London and I think there are multiple examples of that happening.

Charles: I do think it's an interesting one why from geographically certainly Africa, everyone thinks that the London investors understand Africa better but having said that, there are a large number of TSX listed companies with African projects as well. So it's not always horses for courses and we've seen more recently Latin American companies looking to come to London for example. It tends to be, I think, where the money is at the right time...

Tom: Sure.

Charles: ...you know and if you can find the money in the right market then that'll be one of the factors.

Tom: Since the start of 2017 we've had 16 North American listed natural resources companies come to London and they've been from a variety of different places. As you say, Africa there is a quantum of understanding, I think, and depth of emerging market investor base in London that helps but it has been much broader than that as Charles said we've had assets from around Latin America and indeed North America, and as I say, some pure play Canadian businesses listing in London as well which I think is very interesting itself.

Chris: Picking up on one of Charles points, companies tend to follow where the money is. Tom, just from your perspective how do you ensure that there is always a flow, a steady flow of money in London for groups like, you know, Kore Potash and other resources companies to draw on if they've come to London for that deep pool. How do you make sure that's always there?

Tom: Well partly it's about the company you keep on the Exchange so we have 160-odd companies listed on market out of this sector alone it's about a half a trillion dollars; it's about 22% of the global market cap so by value it's a very, very, important sector for the London market so I think that creates itself, you know, a substantial amount of institutional interest. You know people need to look at the sector, it's a big part of the overall market. That having been said, you know, companies need to work at it. It's not just simply a question of putting a listing in place and then, you know, "build it and they will come", expecting investors to find you. Like in any other market or in any other sector you've gotta work at that, you've gotta set out your investment case in the best way you can and really work at the whole investor relations/investor engagement piece and build up that following building up that investor trust overtime.

Chris: So what kind of companies are we looking at then? I think it would be fair to say that smaller companies will tend to follow their own investor base with their own contacts in places where they've got a lot of peers also listed. I mean what...is it a certain maturity of company as well that goes to London? What companies are best suited to the London market and Tom you can't say all of them!

Tom: [Laughing] Well, I mean just on that we have said 160 companies and we have some of the biggest mining companies in the world listed on market but we also have...there are over 100 companies who have market caps of sub $100 million so it really is a market that can cope with companies of all soft of shapes and sizes and stages of development our aim market or growth market has tended to be the place where earlier stage explorers tend to list and as you go through to producing companies then, you know, more go to the main market. That's not a perfect science but that's broadly the way people have chosen to go. The main market has been very active recently. I think naturally given where we are in the cycle at the moment, some of the earlier stage explorers have just felt it probably better to keep their powder dry, wait, get a pit closer to production and I think in this market environment being a producing business, or at least having a very close path to production, has been quite important to get investor attention.

Chris: Yeah. Charles do you agree?

Charles: Yeah. I definitely agree with that. If you look at the number of mining companies that have been listed in the last few years because of the shortage to some extent of capital, the investors have really been looking at those that are...the explorers have had such a tough time it's really the developers or a near term production that have been coming to market so I think that's been pretty key.

Chris: Brad, I know that you weren't running Kore Potash when it listed in London but you've obviously plenty of executive experience the background on why Kore chose to come and list in London and then what there the other things that you factored in that might have looked different if you were a different type of company? What do you think that decision making process looked like?

Brad: First I'm not sure I would've made any different decision had I been in the chair at the time. I think Kore's decision to come to AIM, we're listen on AIM, is driven by our commodity so we all produce potash. We have a belief that potash is...we don't think it's very well understood globally; when we think of all the markets it's probably best understood now in London for an emerging markets project. We think the number of generalist funds here besides the resources industry funds a number of generalist funds, the green funds, there's just more opportunity with more investment houses to raise capital here for our project. Our projects located in Africa we know that the London market, and then through my history, I've had multiple exposures now to the London Stock Exchange and we know that the Stock Exchange absolutely understands the African continent better than most and is prepared to invest in Africa as well.

Charles: Yeah, if you were being a little bit cynical you could possibly say that we've seen more interest from Canada recently because of the boom in the cannabis industry in Canada which seems very strange to those in the UK cos it's not something really people have encountered over here or not a huge amount yet but that's sucked up an enormous amount of that capital for early stage minors on the TSX and the TSX ventures and that, I think, has pushed people to come and look more in the UK. The story at the moment is that boon is probably at an end now but hopefully some of that money will now get recycled back into Canadian mining or back over here as well which would be great.

Chris: We tend to notice that a lot of companies will do a secondary listing in London. They'll start somewhere else smaller, and I know Tom you mentioned the number of companies with under a £100 mil market cap, but I think about half the 2,200 listed companies across the world at the moment, depressingly enough, probably have a market cap of a lot less than that, probably less than ten. Secondary listings, is that once you get to a certain size then you come and play in a deeper pool with bigger players or is there something else or a different reason why we'd be getting more secondaries in London, as opposed to other markets, which is my impression, it may not even be the case?

Tom: I think that's right. It's a combination of things. I think firstly it is about trying to access a deeper pool of institutional capital that exists in London. Partly it's about, you know, the time zone that we sit in it just gives access to a slightly different, you know, pool of investors that don't tend to invest day to day in the Canadian market or the ASX so I think it's a way of adding to the total number of investors that you sort of capture in your net of potential investors you've still gotta then go and work to get them in but it just...it broadens and deepens the pool that you can attract in so I think that's the key thing. Being a very global market for institutions we are quite rare compared to some of the North American markets that it's very diverse geographically partly cos of time zone so we are a market where less than half the equity in London is held by UK institutions, it's about 30% North America, 13% Europe, 6/7% rest of the world so it is a very global pool that can be dipped into here and that's what companies are telling us that they want to do. Often it's a secondary listing first with a view to then building up that relationship with investors over time, creating that sort of fan base with a view that over the next sort of 12 to 18 months hopefully when you're in a slightly better position in the cycle, risk appetite overall has improved a little bit and then tap the market for the funds you need. Having done some of the hard yards over the course of this period by building that trust with investors.

Charles: If you'd said to me, you know, over the years how many dual listings have we seen come into the UK or how many have we seen going the other way, certainly there are more ASX/TSX companies I've seen come to London than go the other way so that must mean something and I think that means that people reach, as you say, maturity where they want to come to London. I think people don't do it, clearly, straightaway because there's a cost and a compliance issue with that which is I think everyone understands being regulated on two markets can, at times, be a bit of a headache in two different time zones but when you've reached the relevant size and can do that it seems applicable.

Brad: Ok. For many resources companies their home base, whether it's project location or the technical team that are working on the project they will start in Australia or Canada so at a primary listing one of those jurisdiction will make sense because it's the home turf and then as they start to get their head around the true investment opportunity the project their working on, you know, an exchange like London becomes increasingly attractive over time. So I think in many ways it's just a function of the structure of our industry and the secondary listings on London is just a logical progression.

Chris: Looking at both primary listings or looking at IPO's and they're looking at secondary raisings as well. It's very difficult for both at the moment, exceptionally difficult to attract investors into public equity markets. What should companies that are looking to IPO initially and then how does that differ to doing a secondary raise in London? What are the things that they should be doing from a...maybe a compliance perspective, an administrative perspective, of a marketing perspective, what should they be doing to make sure that they give themselves a great chance of getting it away? Maybe we'll start with the regulation kind of angle.

Charles: Well I was going to say, "Hire a good broker" would be my advice on that and make sure you've got someone with the access to money because clearly there are some brokers in our sector in mining which are better than others and, I mean, there's not a huge amount and we know at the moment that it is a struggle to raise money I think everyone's being very honest at the moment that trying to raise cash in this environment is tough but this is a long term gain, you know, so if people are coming over here they need to plan it well in advance. We would always advise, you know, think about it a good three, six, months, even a year out, you know, to start planning this, making sure you're talking to the right people, making the right connections.

Brad: Interesting listening to you talk about today's economic environment. I am not sure whether you're doing an IPO or a follow up raising that it's really any different at this point. I think it's pretty tough and concur with you quality advice early on across a range of fronts, marketing advice, how you connect with the press here and the retail investment community. Retail investors aren't going to fund the development of your project but they're absolutely going to set the price for your stock. Good legal advice, interaction early with the exchange is all very important and my view is you need to wear out a few pair of shoes here; don't think you're going to come to London and spend one week here and raise...put an IPO away. I think it's coming here regularly through that advance process and making sure you understand where there's appetite for investment in your company and come with a really strong investment story.

Chris: Tom, maybe looking at it slightly differently from your angle in terms of what you're trying to do from the feedback that you get from corporates looking at listing, looking at raising capital or listing. How are you helping?

Tom: I agree, firstly that it is a tough environment for raising capital, I mean, we've seen few IPO's of any real size this year, I mean the ones that we have seen have been very small raisings or technical introductions really. The last substantial IPO in London was Kazatomprom in the sector which raised £450 million about this time last year, was the biggest mining IPO in EMEA at this time last year. There again it was a very differentiated story. It was a real opportunity to get exposure to, you know, uranium, the one real liquid opportunity, really, in this time zone so it had that sort of real uniqueness factor. So I would say it's not impossible but the capital raising environment certainly is tough and that's why, I think, what companies are doing is saying I'm gonna lay all the ground work now such that when things do look a little bit easier when the economic environment clears up when trade war rhetoric starts to die down when risk appetite therefore takes up I've got everything ready because I think what companies are saying to us is it's almost impossible to get everything ready at the same time. Your use of proceeds, your preparation of all your documents and a market where investors want to buy your securities so if you can get at least one of those out of the way first and through putting the listing in place then you're ready at least. You've started to build up those conversation with investors and you're in a position to do something more opportunistic when the rest of the stars start to align.

Charles: I think people often forget, you know, there is this opportunity to do an introduction onto the UK market as Tom says, get all your ducks in a row. Taseko this morning, you know, have done that. Resolute have done that and come over and filled a bit of a space in that mid-gold sector in the UK and so these are all good preparations so that when the market does lift up you're right in the right place to get the money.

Chris: We do a fair bit of work around risk and one of the things that keeps coming back is the risk of regulation and compliance and it took a massive leap forward probably about five or six years ago and it keeps edging its way up. How do companies manage that and maybe that's a good one for Charles to have a look at and then how does an exchange encourage investors that they are managing things well and that their money is safe but at the same time try and keep, especially on the aim, try to keep compliance costs low and then obviously the company perspective as well but Charles if we can start with you...

Charles: Yeah so obviously there is a choice of markets here and compliance costs clearly if you're going to go for a premium listing in London there is a cost to that and everyone knows and that's for the big companies anyway, but our aim has always been there, you know, since the early '90s...you'll have to remind me, Tom, how far it goes back...but it's always been there as a light touch market and I think everyone admits that regulation because regulation does, it always gets tougher as years go on but I don't think you would find that the aim market, for example, is any more regulated that the TSX benches or the TSX at all. If you think about for miners especially the continuous disclosure requirements in Canada, I would say they're probably more burdensome than they are here in the UK. So it's...and if you were to go and list in Hong Kong for example everyone knows that getting on to the Hong Kong board is very tough and takes you a lot longer and probably more expensive. So there are pros and cons but if you want to go with something and cost is a really issue then you do have the choice of aim and more frequently now people are also looking at a standard listing on the main market here which is also seen as an option principally for the secondary listing rather than coming straight on with a standard but if you've got sufficient free flow in your company and you can fulfil the criteria for a standard, that's another option for you. So that's the great thing, we've got this choice of market.

Chris: Tom?

Tom: I do think that we provide a set of market alternatives that do give companies a choice actually as to ultimately what sort of level of disclosure burden are they capable of dealing with and will still allow the company to thrive on aim, as Charles said, it's lighter touch, been going 25 years now since aim started and that market I think as a growth market has gone from strength to strength for companies that are going to be very regular raisers of capital it has some advantages in terms of the speed with which you can raise capital on a non-pre-emptive basis. Of course, once you go to the main market, whether it's standard or premium, if you want to raise more than 20% of your share capital you have a prospectus delivery requirement and that's got a time and cost associated with it. That being said, quite a lot of the companies that have come and added a secondary listing are already listed in markets where that's a requirement in any case so I don't think adding a London listing in many cases is substantially adding to the disclosure burden as Charles said once you're on, you know, the TSX or the JSE or the ASX you've got a pretty similar set of rules you'd already be abiding by. I think from our perspective, we spend quite a lot of time in the exchange trying to encourage best practice disclosure that's obviously, you know, clearly advantageous for investors but also, you know, for the companies themselves and so whether it's around, you know, governance guidelines, whether it's around ESG disclosure notes, we spend quite a lot of time thinking about that and trying to get companies to adopt best practice. So we help where we can but I think ultimately the level of disclosure, the level of regulation that companies need to put up with is really a cost and a price of raising capital and having that institution of investor access.

Chris: Ok. Brad?

Brad: I can concur. I think that one of the reasons that Kore listed on aim, we are aim listed, is because of the regulatory and the governance framework here and, I mean, I'd argue that's part of the reason London is such a successful financial hub is the regulatory environment here that gives people confidence, gives investors' confidence and that's what we're looking for. I also concur that the underlying principles here are ultimately no different from those in Canada or Australia. In our case, we are aim listed and so some people may not see it as a benefit but I see it as one of the benefits is we have a nomad and so I have somebody who at no extra cost to me on any given day is available to provide advice particularly in the area of continuous disclosure which for resource companies is almost a daily conversation and so you have somebody who is impartial, understands the law very well here and is able to provide me, as the Chief Executive Officer, guidance and where necessary actually be another voice with the rest of the board to discuss matters of continuous disclosure in an informed way so I find that quite helpful and distinctly different from what you have on the other exchanges.

Chris: Just in case there are people watching who don't understand the Nomad and, obviously, the system can somebody just give them an elevator pitch.

Charles: So the main exchanges are regulated by the main regulator or the FCA here, the Financial Conduct Authority, and they vet all the prospectuses and the eligibility for a company to come to the main market. However, they've delegated that responsibility when in relation to the aim market to a...40 or 50 different corporate finance houses called Nominated Advisors and your nominated advisor or your NOMAD is both your corporate finance advisor but he's also your policeman as well cos he's half regulator, half corporate advisor and although that sounds as though it's a bit of an anomaly, actually it works very well because as Brad says, you know that's someone who you can go to on a daily basis and get their advice and if they think you're doing something right that's great but they will stop you doing things that are wrong as well.

Chris: Who polices the Nomad's though? The FCA, I assume?

Tom: Yeah...and the Stock Exchange ourselves, so we have an aim regulation team who spends a lot of time, you know, with the nominated advisors, regularly, sort of, vetting them, making sure they're doing the right things, making sure they've got the number of qualified executives within the business to undertake, you know, IPO work. And obviously reviewing documents as they come in as well so it's not as if we obviate responsibility completely for compliance on our market. It's very much a partnership, you know, between the exchange regulation team and the nominated advisor network that make sure that, you know, companies stay on the straight and narrow.

Chris: Ok. We've looked at various financing sources at Mining Journal. We've touched on the fact that it is exceptionally difficult to raise money at the moment. One of the things we're seeing, particularly for small raisings is crowd funding currently are playing a greater role in larger and larger amounts and regulated crowd funding as well. If public markets continue to fail to provide access to capital are we looking at a period in, I don't know how long into the future, but could we see a time when public markets aren't relevant to resources anymore and their private or their crowd funded ventures or all those to maybe move just a bit towards each other but not so much. I think maybe...I think I know what Tom's gonna say.

Charles: I think...and in the crowd funding we have seen companies do it. Mkango Resources just raised a million sterling I think on a crowd funding platform which is great for those small raises and I think for the juniors it is probably a way to go and I know that there are platforms setting up all the time. There is a new one, which has just started up which is there to attract mining companies specifically looking in that kind of $1 to $20 million raise. And I think there is an opportunity to disintermediate with some of those platforms but I think that, as far as I can see you know the institutions are not convinced they're gonna go through that route so I would have thought at this stage of looking at the smaller raises, and remember if you do that and you're principally attracting retail investors, for example, through a crowd fund, you're gonna have a very long tail on your shareholder register. Which may not always be what you want and it does create a few more problems. So I think it's a great idea and, you know, all power to it and let's see how it goes and if it does attract more capital into the sector then I'm all for it.

Chris: Ok. So, Brad, have you looked at these options? Are you...

Brad: We've not used that approach to fund raising yet. I'm pretty intrigued by anything that gives investors access to invest in resources companies and I concur with you, Charles, I think there are places for all of the different sources of investment and knowing the...being able to predict the behaviour of your investors is really important and understanding if you are targeting the retail segment, understanding how they're likely to behave and what that means as you're trying to build and improve the quality of your register.

Tom: I think from my standpoint, I think we very much are really delighted to see that other sources of capital are growing. Ultimately for us the whole funding ladder is important so whether that's crowd funding sort of seed, angel, venture capital, private equity, you know, the growth of those industries for us, you know we think is a great thing ultimately to provide companies the early stage finance we need. So I don't think we necessarily see it as competition, actually what we see is that some of this funding coming through helps companies get to a point where public markets are going to be suitable for them. Again it's what's most appropriate for them in their lifecycle. So I think we'll see some of those crowd funded businesses still look to public markets where they want capital in greater scale than crowd funding I think can provide when they want to broaden their investor base and when some of those investors that have come in in some of those crowd funding type exercises actually want some liquidity as well so I think public markets will still have a place, and actually, for us, having better funded earlier stage businesses coming through who've had access to that private capital all the way through the different stages is a good thing, not a source of competition for us I think.

Charles: Turns out I didn't know what you were gonna say!

Chris: Going slightly off piste, we're looking at, obviously, another thing that we look at a lot technology's completely changing the way we mine, changing the way we operate our compliance in our back offices. In terms of how exchanges work, can you see innovations that will make the listing experience better, I suppose cheaper and easier to raise, you know, greater sums? Are there ways that we can be innovative and use technology to improve that experience?

Tom: Shall I start on that? Firstly, it's about access to investors and we announced yesterday a strategic tie up with a business called Primary Bid which will allow, through the LSE, through one interaction, companies doing IPO's or follow-ons to tap into a retail distribution network as well so we're excited about that so I think we're constantly looking to innovate using technology to help broaden investor access. The other thing that we have done in the last 12 months is role out a digital issue of services platform on the Exchange so that companies that listed on the market can get all the information they need both on how their stock is trading and lots of other sort of curated third party services that are useful for them as a public company and so that innovation has been very, very well received. One of the companies, for example, that is on our marketplace within issue of services is a business called Reality Check. Which provides virtual reality mine site tours which, you know, some of our biggest companies have now employed and so as part of their investor relations website, investors can do a tour of the mine without leaving their armchair so I think some of those technology advantages or advances have been very, very well received and we'll continue to work at that.

Charles: Yeah, I haven't seen that much change but I mean there are a couple of areas where I've seen it. So, for example, roadshows for people trying to raise money, things like net roadshows which are...you go and present and that presentation becomes like this essentially. Those types of using technology to go and raise that way I've seen but other than that the only thing I'm aware of I guess is, and I know the LSC are doing this, which is the kind of block chain technology but that underlies the kind of fundamentals of the market and the transactions. I know the London Stock Exchange are looking into block chain technology to improve market dynamics.

Chris: I mean, essentially could that potentially remove a whole lot of regulation if you can efficiently provide block chain technology would that improve security immediately and therefore take out a lot of the compliance requirements?

Charles: I'm not a specialist but I think, you know, it may improve things like the history of transactions for example, making sure you can keep track of the register where shareholders are using that distributed network technology of block chain to do that. I think there are advances there that may speed up transactions and trading.

Chris: I don't see that changing the level of disclosure that you need or making it substantially...you know, moving the bar, but it does...it is gonna change the way in which you do things and hopefully there are some process efficiencies that we'll get over time.

Charles: Ok.

Brad: And I agree with the point about understanding exactly who your shareholders are and being able to communicate effectively directly with existing shareholders. Particularly when you have multiple listings.

Charles: I mean, that's always been an issue, I know, trying to get to the bottom of your beneficial interests for directors trying to work out who holds that stock. Sometimes you have three or four layers of different holders and I know in Canada it's really tough to sometimes get to the bottom of who your ultimate shareholder.

Chris: How would that change the way you operate? If you're able to do that, how would that change the dynamics of...?

Charles: Well if you could see it through, I think if there's more transparency of the register to understand who's trading a stock that would really help.

Chris: You mention net roadshow, Charles. Obviously one of the things that we've again started doing through our issues of services platform is live streaming capital market stays at the LSC. So the first two that have used that service are both metals and mining companies actually. Kazatomprom and MMK and for both of them they reached audiences well north of 150 institutional investors in about 15 different countries which I think again is interesting using technology to get the message out beyond those that are actually in the room to hear it and I think we'll see more and more of that going on as well.

Brad: The pace of adoption of the new technology now is very rapid isn't it? And it's fantastic.

Chris: Yeah, absolutely.

Chris: Something that came up in a previous conversation that we'd had earlier today was the fact that mining companies actually, despite the reputation of the industry, have actually moved very quickly in terms of technology and innovation and also sustainable objectives. Is that your experience? This is slightly off piste from just a pure exchange related discussion but how do you see mining companies in the broader market in terms of at least keeping up with, but perhaps even leading trends, in technology innovation and sustainable investment?

Charles: Brad?

Brad: I'm quite biased in this because, you know, I've worked my entire career in the resources industry and in multiple countries so I've a view that the mining industry's always been very innovated and world leading in terms of sustainability. What we haven't been good at is communicating it and I think it's a natural segway from the earlier discussions...I think we are getting better every day at using the technology to communicate more effectively all the good things we are actually doing.

Chris: Ok.

Charles: I think there is a connection here with the London market with the whole ESG importance and investors are really hot at the moment on ESG and that is leading, I think, companies...it's forcing them to some extent to change their ways and make sure they are living up to those sustainability promises, doing the CSR, all of that I think is becoming much more focused. I think mineral companies understood a long time ago they gotta have a social licence to operate. I think that was five or six years ago and that's kind of norm now but the stronger ESG type principles are now forcing some of that change.

Chris: Yeah. I agree with that and actually just the quantum of capital that is benchmarked now and has an ESG overlay. You know, we were talking to one big investor just last week and they said now in every single IPO or further issues of capital raising decision they have, they have a whole series of ESG screens for every investment across every sector. So I think that's now how widespread it is and I think, as Charles said, you know, the mining sector has been, you know, very good at adopting and innovating and I think it's now a question of just making sure you're communicating that absolutely in the right way.

Chris: Charles, Tom, Brad, thank you very much for your time.

Charles, Tom, Brad: Thank you, thank you, makes sense.

Chris: Thank you for watching. Thanks.

Read the original article on GowlingWLG.com

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.