Modern Mining February 2019


industry”. These principles included the foster- ing of inclusive growth in areas where mining companies operated, partnering with local authorities on infrastructure, investment in education and training, and the embrace of beneficiation. Reacting to the President’s address, Roger Baxter, CEO of the Minerals Council South Africa, said: “We have engaged extensively with government and stakeholders on the challenges that have prevented mining from reaching its true potential. A collaborative approach is needed to develop and implement solutions that will see our industry grow and thrive in the future for the benefit of all. We need to get investment back in mining. We, as the industry, are fully committed to play our part.” Minister Gwede Mantashe, who gave the opening address (on the day before President Ramaphosa spoke) also stressed the need to cre- ate a stable regulatory environment for mining investors which provided security of tenure. He added that to increase South Africa’s competi- tiveness as a mining jurisdiction, government was addressing what he called “the challenge of administered prices”, including those for electricity, rail and ports, as well as infrastruc- ture bottlenecks. “The Department remains committed to addressing challenges in our internal processes, which include allegations of dou- ble-granting of licences, improper application of Section 54 of the Mine Health and Safety Act and backlogs in the issuing of licences,” he continued. “We are also bolstering capac- ity in the most affected regions – North West,

Mpumalanga and Limpopo – to support staff in those regions in the processing of applications. The investigative team that was established to look into these and other related matters will conclude its work soon, after which we will be able to provide a way forward.” The Minister noted that the DMR realised the “dire need” to reinvigorate exploration activities. “We have directed the Council for Geoscience (CGS) to enhance the geological mapping knowledge and fast track the exercise of delineating new mineral targets, drill and quantify the extent of mineralisation, which will be used to foster sustainable development of the mining industry well into the future,” he said. “The mapping programme will bring South Africa in line with progressive exploration and mining jurisdictions and it is our intent to secure a minimum of 5 % of the global explora- tion budget within the next three to five years. This will identify and affirm new mineralisa- tion systems that are consistent with the new demand trajectory of mineral resources, such as battery minerals.” The Minister’s speech was commended by several commentators. Webber Wentzel Partner Jonathan Veeran, for example, described it as “pragmatic” while Deloitte’s Andrew Lane, Africa Energy & Resources Leader, said the address was considerably more positive than the one delivered by his predecessor at the 2018 event. “We welcome his accentuation of investment in African mining and his clear call for attracting investment to the continent. Very importantly, Minister Mantashe acknowledged

The President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, arrives at the Mining Indaba. He is flanked (to his right) by Alex Grose, MD of Mining Indaba, and Mark Shashoua, CEO of ITE Group, the new owner of the Mining Indaba.

“The Department remains committed to addressing challenges in our internal processes, which include allegations of double-granting of licences ... .”

Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources

February 2019  MODERN MINING  35

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