In his presentation, titled ‘Enabling the Renaissance of the South African mining sector’, Baxter argued that the country’s economic and transformational mining potential was vast and that, even in the absence of a greenfield exploration boom, mining investment in the country could almost double in the next four years if the country was to return to the top quartile of the most attractive mining investment destinations. This could have a great impact on advancing the entire country’s transformation agenda.

Referring to the most recent Fraser Institute perceptions survey, Baxter said, “the significant improvement from being close to the bottom decile of the Policy Perception Index league table at 81 out of 91 jurisdictions, to about two-thirds of the way down at fifty-sixth out of 83 jurisdictions can be attributed to the early impacts of the shift of political leadership of the country and of the industry in 2018 of President Cyril Ramaphosa and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe”.

The steps to restoration:

According to the Mineral Council, there are a number of steps to be taken that can restore South Africa’s former mining strength as an attractive investment destination. Some of these steps include developing a social pact for competitiveness growth and transformation between key stakeholders while re-establishing trust with the global mining and investment community. Additionally, the council believes a significant crackdown on corruption and unethical leadership is required.

A significant improvement in licensing systems and turnaround times, while also creating a stable, predictable and competitive policy, regulatory and operating environment will encourage long-term investment in mining and will be key to restoring the sector’s competitiveness.

Resolving infrastructure constraints and uncompetitive costs, developing a strategy to encourage an exploration boom and developing national strategies for each commodity would also play a role, Baxter said.

About the PDAC:

The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) is regarded as the premier international event for the mineral industry. It has attracted more than 25,000 people from 125 countries in recent years. In addition to meeting over 1,000 exhibitors, 3,500 investors and 25,600 attendees from 135 countries, attendees can also attend technical sessions, short courses and networking events.

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Source: Mining Weekly