CAPE TOWN (miningweekly.com) – A government-initiated fund for prospectors and developers is under discussion with the Public Investment Corporation and the Industrial Development Corporation, Minerals Council South Africa emerging mining head Grant Mitchell said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a media conference at the Investment in African Mining Indaba, Mitchell said coordination efforts were under way to establish a private sector/pubic sector partnership.
“As it stands we have 24 companies on our junior and emerging miners’ desk and we also have three organisations that, in turn, also have in excess of 200 smaller companies as their membership that also benefit from some of the things that we do,” Minerals Council executive Tebello Chabana told Mining Weekly Online.
The desk has a mentorship programme in which retired mining company CEOs coach junior miners that want that assistance.
It also runs a help desk, not just for members, but for anybody interested in mining.
Workshops are also held that are important for junior miners and companies providing services to them.
“We have also been quite vociferous in trying to show the regulator that firstly we do represent some of the juniors and that they have different requirements in terms of the Mining Charter. With the charter that came out last year, we’ve had some limited success in that there is no black economic empowerment applicable to prospecting and junior and emerging mines are exempted from some elements of the charter - but unfortunately that threshold is quite low. It’s R150-million turnover. It should have been higher but at least we got some wins for juniors,” said Chabana.
Importantly, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has expressed the desire to engage far more in the emerging miner space, and the Minerals Council will be taking him up on that going forward.