The frustration felt by mining executives with access to deep wells of finance in dealing with the government is palpable. Their message is the same: welcome us, get rid of some of the barriers and we will invest billions. The clear voice coming from the industrial minerals sector in SA is that this is an area that has real potential, unlike the nearly exhausted gold mines and struggling platinum sector. John Bristow, an old hand in the South African mining industry and a geologist by profession, has long argued that the fixation the country has on gold, platinum and large mining operations has done the mining industry a great disservice. The perception is that South African geology is understood and there’s little left to find. The discovery of the giant platinum group metal and base metal source north of the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex in recent years proves that a fallacy. Orion Minerals, the Australian company restarting the Prieska zinc and copper mine in the ...

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