In­ter­na­tional

The Australian Mining Review - - CONTENTS - JES­SICA CUM­MINS SOUTH AFRICA

SOUTH Africa’s min­ing in­dus­try could at­tract more than $11 bil­lion in new in­vest­ments over the next four years, ac­cord­ing to Min­er­als Coun­cil South Africa chief ex­ec­u­tive Roger Bax­ter.

Speak­ing at day two of the 2018 Africa Down Un­der Con­fer­ence in Perth, Mr Bax­ter said while the coun­try had strug­gled in the past decade, key find­ings from a re­cent re­port sig­nalled a much stronger out­look for in­dus­try.

He said the na­tion’s min­ing in­dus­try had “been through a tough patch” at­tract­ing just 1 per cent of to­tal global ex­plo­ration ex­pen­di­ture in 2017 com­pared to 14 per cent for Aus­tralia.

“Of the South African ex­plo­ration al­lo­ca­tion, only 10 per cent of that was on green­fields ac­tiv­ity – mean­ing a much weaker and lim­ited pipe­line of new min­ing projects be­ing de­vel­oped,” Mr Bax­ter said.

Mr Bax­ter said most com­pa­nies had held back in­vest­ment due to the na­tion’s un­cer­tain reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment.

But times were chang­ing, with re­forms en­acted this year show­ing green shoots for in­dus­try, and po­ten­tial to see min­ing in­vest­ment dou­ble over the next four years.

“The cur­rent min­ing capex for the next four years for South Africa is R145 bil­lion,” Mr Bax­ter said.

“Po­ten­tial new cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture un­der a more cer­tain and con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment would add a fur­ther R122 bil­lion ($11 bil­lion plus) to this out­come.

“This is 84 per cent higher than cur­rent com­mit­ments.

“If South Africa gets back into the top 25 per cent of favoured min­ing in­vest­ment desti­na­tions glob­ally, this would cre­ate a fur­ther 200,000 jobs.”

There were cur­rently 117 ASX-listed com­pa­nies with projects across 29 African na­tions, in­clud­ing South African-fo­cused min­ers South32, Orion Min­er­als, West Wits Min­ing and Stonewall Re­sources.

Im­age: Sup­plied.

Min­er­als Coun­cil South Africa chief ex­ec­u­tive Roger Bax­ter.

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