Mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe at the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES​
Mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe at the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES​

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, our focus is on developments in one of SA’s most important industrial sectors — mining — as the 2020 edition of the Mining Indaba concluded on Thursday.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined in studio by Jason van der Poel, partner and head of the energy sector group at law firm Webber Wentzel, and Henk Langenhoven, chief economist at industry body the Minerals Council SA, to talk about the sector.

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The theme of the 26th Investing in African Mining Indaba was “optimising growth and investment in the digitised mining economy,” but energy ended up being a main talking point as mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe revealed government’s plans to allow mining companies to generate energy for self-use, and further plans to start a power generating company outside of Eskom, in his opening address at the indaba.

In the first part of the discussion, Van der Poel explains what some of the legal and policy implications of such a move would be for miners and what government still needs to do for the plan to be implemented. Langenhoven says miners have already done a lot of work in the way of setting up systems for producing power and also noted the inability of local mining houses to take advantage of rebounding global commodity prices as operating costs keep rising.

The second half of the discussion shifts to highlight some of the other topical issues that came out of the indaba. Langenhoven says the last year has been the safest in the sector with Van der Poel highlighting continued discussions around the environmental effects of mining activity in the country.

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Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production

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