Dr Patience Mpofu: Founder and Principal Consultant

Dr Patience Mpofu is a multi-award winner as one of the most influential women in Mining, a Global Mining Sustainability Thought Leader (ESG) and Women in STEM advocate. She has over two decades of resource industry leadership experience and has extensive cross-functional experience as a successful leader from mine to market. She held a number of leadership positions, primarily developing commercial and sustainability strategies for multinational mining companies. Her primary areas of interest are solving sustainable development problems for mining companies. She also provides in-depth industry and competitor analysis research to help leaders make informed and timely decisions on where and how to compete for critical minerals required for net-zero by 2050 in this highly uncertain environment. Through her Podcast, YouTube channels and her platform Insight Mining Experts (IME) she interviews thought leaders and engages them on thought-provoking topics to help solve sustainability issues from mine to market.

Patience’s recent position was as Vice President of Corporate Affairs at South32. She has collaborated and engaged with various stakeholders; communities and government to develop and execute the company’s sustainability strategy. Previously, she led the Africa Region Commercial function and was responsible for all commercial activities within the company, establishing a fit-forpurpose Africa Region Commercial function. In 2018, she was one of the 36 women chosen for the International Women Forum (IWF) Fellows Program, which inspired her to take a sabbatical and work on a Legacy Project. In 2021, she published a best-selling book on Amazon, Unleashing My Superpowers: How to navigate and succeed in a male-dominated mining work environment. This book is aimed to encourage young girls and women to pursue STEM careers in mining. She has authored and published over 10 international peer reviewed journals on sustainability in the mining industry. In 2019, she won 3 awards for Pan African Most influential women in Mining in South Africa, Southern Africa and Africa. 

As a mining consultant and speaker, she is often sought after to speak on closing the gender gap or providing insights on critical minerals for Net-Zero emissions by 2050. She has extensive scientific reputation in the field of mineral processing, as evidenced by her publications of various journals on sustainability in high-impact journals and presentations at major international conferences. Her academic qualifications include a PhD with a focus on sustainability from UNISA Australia and an AMP from INSEAD.

David Paterson: Principal Advisor

David Paterson founded Emergent Advisory based upon this very passion. Drawing upon extensive senior executive experience in the resources sector, he is able help corporate leaders:

• Identify and review the most significant growth options for their business over a 5-20 year period
• Review and mitigate the most significant strategic risks to their business
• Assess and address political, regulatory and country risk
• Create “social licence to operate” plans built around local economic opportunities
• Identify major reputation risks and build pragmatic business plans to mitigate
• Help companies move through regulatory approvals in a strategic manner
• Help companies tell their own story more authentically, and engage effectively with both traditional and new media, even where public sentiment is hostile
• Create an internal communications plan that will harness employee engagement and improve morale.

David more than 30 years experience in the mining industry, much of it with Rio Tinto. In addition to extensive experience in commercial negotiations, project evaluation and M&A, he has done deep dives into specific strategic challenges in all parts of the mining value chain, from exploration to operations to shipping.

He has lived and worked on 4 continents, and been involved in projects in more than 30 countries. Over the last 15 years he has been deeply involved in developing and implementing successful strategies to address complex social and political challenges in Australia, Mongolia and Zambia. He has received significant coverage on television, radio, newspapers and social media. He has been a guest lecturer at a range of leading business schools and a presenter at a range of high profile conferences.