It is time to move forward, now that the mining industry knows the rules with the finalisation of the Mining Charter, says Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe.
The mining industry now knows how to play and are now chomping at the bit to get back underground and create some value for the South African nation.
“Mining is a vital economic sector and should be proud of itself and must continue to contribute to the growth of the local economy,” comments Mantashe.
“Workers do put their lives on the line when going underground and should be respected and have a stake in the industry.
“South Africa counts for only 1% of global exploration, and we should be contributing at least 5% of the global total,” comments Roger Baxter, chief executive of the Minerals Council of South Africa.
“Therefore all stakeholders need to do everything they can to get investment going,” he continues.
All stakeholders have a responsibility to make it work, to make it produce and to make it generate wealth and profits.
If the mining sector thrives so too will other economic sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture.
These are intertwined in so much as end products rely on materials mined.
Mantashe urges the sector to become obsessed with innovative thinking, creating global South African companies and to make use of locally manufactured goods.
In addition Mantashe agrees that it is not the size of the mine, but the size of the contribution the mine makes.
“The industry has to look at its potential growth points, employment opportunities, and ensure positive promotion of the sector to the local and global community,” notes Mantashe.
The Department of Mineral Resources had bought into developing and promoting the demand for platinum and urges the sector to look at the potential in marketing the hydrogen energy cell, be obsessed to manufacture goods locally.
Confusion still abates on the applicable BBBEE level for prospecting rights while the Department of Minerals and Resources have yet to finalise its decision.
It was promising to hear however that the Mantashe believes that whilst you are exploring you are not producing wealth, only when a mine is producing should the BBBEE target kick in.