South African mining offers investors a solid ‘balance sheet’ — Mantashe

05 February 2024 - 12:31
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Mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe says government is committed to resolving energy constraints to support the economy and the mining industry. File photo.
Mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe says government is committed to resolving energy constraints to support the economy and the mining industry. File photo.
Image: Masi Losi

Mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe says while South Africa’s mining sector is laden with headwinds and operational challenges, its R400bn in mining projects and policy interventions will restore prestige to the industry at a national level.

“We have decided to give investors a balance sheet of South Africa’s mining industry and point to investor opportunities in the industry,” he said.

“High energy prices, high inflation and lower commodity prices coupled with load-shedding and logistical bottlenecks continued to put pressure on operational costs and thus constrained to bare minimum the mining industry’s contribution to our economies.”

The minister was speaking during the opening day of the 2024 Investment in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town on Monday morning. The event takes place in the midst of ongoing headwinds in the mining sector, including rising electricity costs, unreliable power supply and logistics constraints.

The government is investing efforts and resources to resolve the bottlenecks through the national energy and Logistics crisis committees comprised of the private and public sectors.

“Despite these headwinds, the mining industry has proved its resilience through its marginal but significant contribution to the country’s GDP in 2023, as evidenced in the first and second quarter statistics,” Mantashe said.

He said the government was investing in resources to resolve the energy crisis and logistics backlogs through the National Energy and Logistics Crisis Committees.

He hailed the R400bn mining projects in South Africa between 2018 and 2023, including:

  • the Nkwe platinum mine investment of R13bn in 2021;
  • R1bn into the Northern Cape’s Mokala manganese mine; and
  • a R7bn investment into coal and anthracite projects in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal by Menar.

The minister said the government was committed to resolving energy constraints to support the economy and the mining industry, as evidenced in the latest iteration of the integrated resource plan (IRP) released late last year.

“We have reviewed the 2019 IRP and gazetted the updated version for public comments. To allow maximum participation in the process, we have decided to extend the public comments period by a month from February 23 to March 23.”

Mantashe said the department of mineral resources and energy’s recently introduced cadastral system had a service provider, the PMG consortium. He said the cadastral system would enhance transparency in the licence application process.

“We don’t want to rush it and collapse it. We want to work it systematically. We want to give it a change to function properly in all provinces.”

He refuted reports that the processing of mining licence applications was at zero, insisting the department was committed to wiping out the backlog.

Business Times


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