26/05/2022

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South Africa eyes new mining boom [Business Africa]

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South African mining is a major source of foreign exchange and jobs. The country’s minerals are key to its economic growth and recovery strategy.

Many of South Africa’s mineral reserves, estimated to be worth $2.5 trillion remain unexploited.

Pretoria is now seeking a two-fold increase in investment in the sector by 2030. A commodity boom partly fueled by the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine has raised investor confidence and should drive big and small miners to the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has identified mining as a key sector in South Africa’s post-pandemic recovery plan.

One of the things Pretoria is doing is to change the narrative about the industry – emphasizing that there is more to coal, gold, platinum, and diamond.

Investors are being asked to also venture into metals such as chrome, vanadium, and titanium.

But growth has stalled in recent years. Between 2010 and 2018, the industry saw a 10% loss in output, 50,000 jobs wiped out, and a 45% decrease in annual capital investment.

A lack of innovation, bad rail and port infrastructure, and unreliable electricity are to blame for the damage.

Hans Kuipers from Boston Consulting Group joins the program with insights on South Africa’s plan to breathe new momentum into its mines.