SA falls be­hind in new mine devel­op­ment

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

SOUTH Africa’s his­tor­i­cally suc­cess­ful min­ing in­dus­try has crowded out the search and dis­cov­ery of po­ten­tial new mines, leav­ing in its wake a lack of suf­fi­cient ex­plo­ration in­vest­ment to seek out new ore bod­ies.

South Africa is not in­vest­ing in its ge­o­log­i­cal po­ten­tial as much as it should and risks fall­ing be­hind as many other coun­tries on the con­ti­nent, par­tic­u­larly Botswana and Namibia, make sig­nif­i­cant progress in the three crit­i­cal el­e­ments — good min­er­alised ge­ol­ogy, strong cap­i­tal-rais­ing mar­kets and a con­ducive reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment — that en­sure suc­cess.

Ad­dress­ing a Ge­o­log­i­cal So­ci­ety of South African ex­plo­ration show­case on Fri­day, bank­ing group Ned­bank Cap­i­tal min­ing and met­als head Paul Miller re­it­er­ated his con­cerns for the dwin­dling in­dus­try in the midst of a com­mod­ity slump.

“We are prob­a­bly not do­ing what we should to in­vest in our own ge­o­log­i­cal po­ten­tial,” he said, point­ing to the ex­ten­sive work un­der way in other African coun­tries to col­lect the vi­tal ge­o­log­i­cal data re­quired to at­tract min­ing-re­lated in­vest­ment.

South Africa’s own in­dus­try is “liv­ing off ” the his­tor­i­cal data of the great over­shad­ow­ing dis­cov­er­ies of the past, while the rest of the con­ti­nent’s coun­tries com­pete to be­come the most at­trac­tive in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tions through im­proved reg­u­la­tory frame­works and con­ducive pol­icy en­vi­ron­ments.

There is an ur­gent need for South Africa to bol­ster its ju­nior min­ing sec­tor and at­tract in­vest­ment in new ex­plo­ration projects to en­sure the long-term sus­tain­abil­ity of the coun­try’s min­ing sec­tor, he said. — Min­ing­weekly

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