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Globally, the commodities cycle has turned positive; prices are rising, revenues are rocketing and mining companies are on track for a stellar year. But in SA, the millstones of cost and regulatory uncertainty have prevented the sector from lifting on the rising tide. PwC’s annual report, "SA Mine", found that the 2018 financial year was a mixed bag for the 31 local mining companies it surveyed. Michal Kotzé, PwC’s leader on Africa energy, utilities and resources, says the global mining perspective was "fairly positive", but in SA things were different. "The bulk commodities — iron ore, coal, manganese and so on — performed well. But the industry is still dominated by precious metals, which have gone through a tough time," he says. For SA, revenues were up 8% to R398bn in 2018, from R370bn last year. The largest revenue generator was coal, driven by higher prices, while declining revenues from gold producers dragged everything down. Globally, revenues grew much faster, rising 23% in...

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