Modern Mining December 2022


Minerals Council South Africa advances the agenda of junior miners

The needs of junior and emerging miners often take a back seat to those of mining majors who have greater human and financial resources. More recently, though, the Minerals Council South Africa has placed its foot firmly on the pedal to address concerns faced by this segment of the mining industry, with the industry body amping up financial resource allocation to the junior and emerging miners’ desk (JEMD) and deploying experts to advise on the drafting of a fit-for-purpose policy for the sector, says Minerals Council South Africa’s lead: Junior and Emerging Miners’ Desk, Grant Mitchell. By Nelendhre Moodley .

“ T he history of mining in South Africa has been monopolised by mining majors, as they mined key minerals such as gold, diamonds, coal and iron-ore. However, the demand for green technology is driving the appetite for new mineral sets, which is seeing junior mining companies emerging as potential front-runners in the exploration and exploitation of new age miner als,” explains Mitchell. Aside from the crucial role played by the junior and emerging mining sector in locating and advanc ing projects to early-stage development, the sector is a significant industry employer providing jobs to between 33 500 (7,5%) and 40 300 (9%) people directly. In 2018, the sector generated R54-billion (8%) in

revenue and contributed R2,7 – R55-billion (4,1%) of capital spend to the mining industry. This is accord ing to research undertaken by HJ Kriel, CEO of Vbkom, and a PhD candidate on the topic, Junior and emerging mining: The extent, nature and eco nomic impact of the sector in South Africa. Advancing the agenda The industry body is focused on overhauling policy to suit the junior and emerging mining sector and is engaged in capacity building initiatives and under taking industry research to better understand the needs of the sector. According to Mitchell, there is a growing number of artisanal and small-scale miners, many of whom have the potential of making a significant contribution

Grant Mitchell.

The demand for green technology is driving the appetite for new mineral sets.

22  MODERN MINING  December 2022

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