Exploration spend in South Africa has undoubtedly taken a knock as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with S&P Global Market Intelligence predicting a 29% decrease in global exploration spend for 2020.
However, as a crucial first step in the project cycle, exploration will become a key focus for the country as the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy (DMRE) looks to release a six-point exploration strategy aimed at enabling and expediting exploration to take place within South Africa, attendees of The Junior Indaba, heard today.
According to DMRE Minister Gwede Mantashe, there are plans afoot to develop an exploration implementation plan, together with the Minerals Council South Africa and the Council for Geoscience. It is Mantashe’s desire to release this strategy sooner rather than later, to give the mining sector an opportunity to comment on whether or not it believes the strategy provides a workable solution.
In a panel discussion aimed at dissecting the current climate for junior mining and exploration in South Africa, PwC’s Africa Energy, Utilities and Resources leader, Andries Rossouw said that massive untapped exploration still exists in South Africa and that exploration is critical to ensure sustainability of the mining industry and is essential to discover future growth projects.
This sentiment was shared by Errol Smart, CEO of Orion Minerals, who is also the Chair of the Junior and Emerging Miners Leadership Forum of the Minerals Council South Africa. Smart says, “the impact of investing in exploration is short and its significant” and has a massive potential impact on the country’s GDP and job creation.
Mantashe believes South Africa has the potential to attract foreign direct investment into South Africa and together with the Council for Geosciences is getting its house in order to do so, The Junior Indaba also heard.
I’d love to hear from you! Please let me know you thoughts on whether you believe South Africa has the mineral wealth and government support to boost its mineral exploration.
Until next time.
Senior Deputy Editor