Although many commodities have remained flat over the past year, the resurgent gold price – mainly driven by uncertainty, owing to the US-China trade war – may result in more gold projects, given the favourable price environment, says project and engineering solutions provider Wood business development manager Kudakwashe Maramba.
“Demand in the global mining industry has remained stagnant and has dipped in some areas. Last year, analysts predicted that battery minerals would be key, but supply has exceeded demand in a lot of areas. This has resulted in the drop in price across the board for most battery metals.”
He adds that South Africa has been insulated from this, owing to the high platinum group metals basket price, with most platinum producers declaring record profits and delivering higher-than-normal dividends.
However, Maramba warns that with little to no money being invested in exploration, this may cause a downturn in the sector in 2020.
Further, as several Wood clients will speak at the 2019 Joburg Indaba, the company looks forward to supporting them. The company believes that the conference serves as a “positive and important platform” to highlight its experience and value-add for clients.
“We are also going to establish some new dialogues with new and/or potential clients. As a mature organisation, currently rated as the number one engineering design firm in the world, we have a lot of experience that is beneficial for clients,” he enthuses.
While Wood remains positive about the future of mining in South Africa, it is imperative that the mining sector continues to grow.
“We have old mines, and many unexplored areas in South Africa that can provide a bright future for our industry,” Maramba concludes.