A commitment by miner Rio Tinto to invest R6.5bn in a mineral sands project in Richards Bay will provide a welcome boost for the SA economy and sentiment in its beleaguered mining industry. The investment by the global mining giant is one of the most significant announced in the resources sector since October 2018, when President Cyril Ramaphosa launched an investment drive to attract about R1.4-trillion to the struggling economy. The president on Tuesday welcomed the news as a "clear sign of progress" in his ambitious investment drive. When he launched the initiative in 2018, Anglo American committed R71.5bn to expanding its SA mines and global resources company Vedanta promised to invest R21.4bn. Now, Rio Tinto has announced it will develop the first phase of its Zulti South mineral sands project in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal. The project is owned by Richards Bay Minerals (RBM), SA’s largest mineral sands producer and beneficiation company, in which Rio Tinto owns 74%. The projec...

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