There are two distinct futures for mining in SA. Along the current trajectory, mining output and employment will continue to decline as mines steadily mine out a shrinking pool of accessible, financially viable resources. In a more optimistic future, output and employment in mining can be grown, or at least sustained, by exploring and developing new resources. The extent of effort, thinking and coordination required to manifest this brighter future must not be underestimated. It will require far-reaching and urgent action by all interested parties. The recent announcement of the new Mining Charter is therefore most welcome. The final version has clearly emphasised the importance of competitiveness considerations in the government’s thinking.

But it is only a step in the right direction. All interested parties should continue to work towards reforms that facilitate the sociallysustainable financial competitiveness of SA mining investments, because conditions in SA do not enable...

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