SA mining has regained some of its shine, now that President Cyril Ramaphosa is at the nation’s helm. And a notable feeling of cheeriness filtered down to speakers and delegates alike at the 2019 Mining Indaba in Cape Town this week. But for all the speeches, panel discussions, coffee meetings and cocktail parties at the event, the answer to the biggest question remains unanswered. Where will SA’s next big mine come from — or rather, will it come at all? Many of the big names on the main stage couldn’t give an answer. That’s to be expected. The major mining companies — once the backbone of the SA economy — have been reducing their exposure to SA, not increasing it. That’s despite the completion of the latest mining charter, which the government and industry say has finally provided certainty for investors — or at least those already exposed to SA. Asked where the next new mine in SA might come from, Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani said that, first, miners could do better with the a...

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