The organisers of this year’s Mining Indaba worked hard to try to make mining look cool, renaming the main stage the “Disrupters Stage” and insisting the main speakers talk about disruption not just ore grades or incline shafts.

But the instinctive health and safety response to the acrobats who graced the opening of the main stage was a reminder that this was a mining audience. And in a sense the indaba reflected the extent to which mining has in the past couple of years become cool in its own right...

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