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DMR launches junior miners programme

The DMR has launched a” junior miners’ programme” to provide opportunities for new entrants identified throughout the mining value chain, as well as assist with issues of access to funding, compliance and access to markets.

Deputy Minster of the South African Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), Godfrey Oliphant made mention of this during his speech at the 2018 Junior Indaba.

Currently there are over 90 companies on our database, most of them requiring funding opportunities.

This has prompted us to partner with the Industrial Development Corporation and are in the process of establishing a “junior miners fund” to particularly focus on providing exploration investment capital to black owned emerging miners, considering that funding institutions are not willing to invest in that space.

“The DMR has also started engaging the private sector to assist government by contributing a small portion of their turnover to this fund to keep it sustainable, we urge companies to heed our call and assist us,” highlighted Oliphant.

“The DMR, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), has sponsored junior miners to travel abroad in order for them to attain foreign direct investment into their projects. We thus far have travelled to, amongst others, China, Canada, Turkey and Russia.

“We will continue to intensify our support to these miners, because the emergence of vibrant small and medium scale enterprises is vital for the future of the mining industry,” stressed Oliphant.

“The DMR believes they are the future drivers of growth and sustainability of the sector. We also embrace the participation of women, youth and rural communities.

“We have seen a decline in employment in the mining industry, we currently employ just above 450 thousand people.

“This can change if we support junior miner initiatives that we will be able to create jobs in the country to alleviate poverty and inequality.

For mining to be sustainable, it requires ongoing and extensive exploration, given the time it takes to bring new mines into production.

Junior miners are the principal drivers of exploration, resulting in them having the largest potential to creating new employment opportunities in the sector.

“We in this regard have invested R20 billion for the Council for Geoscience to carry out a 10-year intensive mapping programme.

The aim is to map the country’s mineral resources on a scale of 1 to 50 000, in the past year coverage has been doubled from 5% to 10%.

“We are on track to have a multidisciplinary integrated mapping platform that constitutes all aspects of the geosciences field by 2026,” maintained Oliphant.