Picture: GETTY IMAGES/CHRISTOPHER FURLONG
Picture: GETTY IMAGES/CHRISTOPHER FURLONG

SA used to be the greatest mining country on earth, but annual mining production shrank by 10.7% in 2020 — its biggest annual decline since 1990.

SA now attracts less than 1% of annual global mineral exploration spend. Ongoing mineral exploration is the only way to ultimately sustain mining’s 7% contribution to GDP.

SA mining investment could almost double in the next four years if the country were to return to the top quartile of the most attractive mining investment destinations.

Speaking at the Minerals Council SA’s 131st AGM, mineral resources & energy minister Gwede Mantashe singled out the way the department handles applications for prospecting and mining rights for harsh criticism.

Michael Avery spoke to Afrimat CEO Andries van Heerden; Peter Leon, mining law expert, partner at law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and the global co-chair of its Africa Group; and Peter Major, veteran mining analyst at Mergence.

Michael Avery and a panel of guests talk about SA mining and mineral explorations

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