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.
Minerals Council South Africa chief executive Roger Baxter.