Mining Indaba (Cape Town, February 6-9) reports “Africa’s mining sector is gearing up for growth. Governments are exploring new horizons, co-operating across borders, commiting funds and removing obstacles to ensure their countries are ready to leverage the next growth wave. In North Africa, Egypt is opening its gold assets to foreign companies for the first time since 2009, with the country’s first international tender for gold mining concessions taking place.“Then there’s the newly-cemented West-South partnership, which will see Nigeria and South Africa adopting a two-year action plan for co-operation in mining. The MoU covers areas such as geology; regulatory framework and licensing; mineral processing; metallurgy; artisanal and small scale mining; investment promotion; and capacity building.“The Nigerian Government has also allocated over N4 billion for the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Co.“In East Africa, small-scale miners in Kenya look set to get licences this year. According to Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu, who will be speaking at the 2017 Mining Indaba, the Ministry is keen to have a system for licensing small-scale miners before dissolution of Parliament in the run-up to the August general election.There is news from Harare that platinum miners are set up to invest over $50 million on expansion projects in a development anticipated to increase the metal’s annual output, according to the Chamber of Mines Zimbabwe. Much of this news has been covered in International Mining Project News.Investor Appetite in 2017 – Is the worst over? Where will most of the investors invest their money? What level of appetite will investors have for junior miners in 2017 as the market changes? Panellists George Lequime, Willem Middelkoop, David Street and Joanne Warner join moderator Tyler Broda, Director of Global Mining Research at RBC Capital Markets, to take stock of the segments most likely to attract investment in 2017. See for yourself!2016 was an extraordinary year for miners, according to Investec’s Jeremy Wrathall. ”The whole industry has really had a massive surprise this year by how good of a year it has been but really the question is what happens in the future.”2017 looks set to be an equally good year for mining stocks, according to Citi analysts, thanks to industry-wide trends toward increased free cash flow, upward earnings momentum and the potential to return excess capital to shareholders.Favoured sub-sectors include diversified miners, base metal companies and selected gold companies bringing on new projects.Interestingly, Nedbank’s Leon Esterhuizen and Arnold van Graan argue that Sibanye Gold’s $2.2 billion purchase of Montana-based Stillwater Mining late last year is, among other things, a big bet on prices for platinum group metals and gold.