CAPE TOWN (miningweekly.com) – Green shoots are sprouting in South Africa’s mining sector, which is readying for new take off, Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter said on Monday.
In a briefing on the State of the Mining Nation on the sidelines of the opening day of the Investing in African Mining Indaba, Baxter told journalists that significant progress had been made on the regulatory front, where close interface with government is ongoing.
“The boil has been lanced,” he said, as he spoke of the Minerals Council working closely with government to get the economy of the country back on track.
He spoke of the separation of oil and gas into its own regulatory environment being good for the country, which is endowed with a promising continental shelf.
On the mining front, 300 companies were now emerging as junior miner members of the Minerals Council.
While some aspects of South Africa’s Mining Charter remained contrary to the declaratory order judgment, the Minerals Council was engaged with the team of Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe on outstanding issues.
The Minerals Council was extremely concerned about the high tariff increases that the electricity utility was seeking, which, if approved, would shrink South Africa’s mining, smelting and refining footprints devastatingly.
Baxter contended that South Africa’s energy position would not be as dire had the government adopted the Energy Policy White Paper of 1998.
He revealed that the Minerals Council was working with its African counterparts to strengthen its partnership on the continent in the field of mining.
He put illegal mining in South Africa at R20-billion a year and pointed to it taking place increasingly in operating mines and not only abandoned mines, which called out for action.