The South African junior mining sector was badly affected by increasingly complex regulations and policy compliance and crippled by a lack of investment as a consequence, said John Bristow, a director at Global Diamond Network. Focusing on diamond miners as an example, Bristow told the Junior Indaba mining conference that the number of private operators in the diamond sector fell to 150 in 2017 from 2,000 in 2004, when the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act was implemented. He conceded that some small alluvial mining companies had exhausted their operations The number of jobs at these operations plunged to 3,000 from 25,000 in the same period, he said. "But most of what we see here is because of policy problems, a lack of access to information, black economic empowerment. It’s just too hard," Bristow said. "Our mining policies are awful." "In those impoverished areas, where farming has become mechanised with a loss of jobs, now you’re doing that to mining jobs. The impa...

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