Mining Indaba 2024: Mantashe gives investors a frank balance sheet of the SA mining industry

Minister Mantashe gives investors ‘a balance sheet of South Africa’s mining industry’ and points to opportunities in the mining industry. Picture: Gwede Mantashe / X

Minister Mantashe gives investors ‘a balance sheet of South Africa’s mining industry’ and points to opportunities in the mining industry. Picture: Gwede Mantashe / X

Published Feb 5, 2024


The 30th Annual Mining Indaba kicked off on Monday in Cape Town as an expected 10,000 delegates gather over the next four days to shape the future of mining in Africa.

Frans Baleni, chairperson of Mining Indaba, said the aim of the event was to help shape the future of mining in Africa, while addressing the challenges.

He said the industry needs expansion, but needed to do it in a sustainable fashion.

Baleni also acknowledged that the industry could see disruption but that it needs to be constructive rather than divisive.

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe said 2023 was a tough year for Africa’s mining industry due to a myriad of international and domestic factors.

He wanted to give investors “a balance sheet of South Africa’s mining industry” and point to investor opportunities in the SA mining industry.

“High energy prices, high inflation, lower commodity prices, coupled with load shedding and logistical bottlenecks continued to put pressure on operational costs and thus constrained to bare minimum the mining industry’s contribution to our economies.

“Government is investing efforts and resources to resolve these bottlenecks through the National Energy and Logistics Crisis Committees comprised of private and the public sector,” he said.

He said the sector saw some tail winds, with sizeable investments in new mining and extensions of existing mining operations.

“A significant number of the new mining operations are concentrated on industrial mineral mines, diamond mines (alluvial), coal, manganese, iron, gold, platinum group metals, chrome, copper, lithium, and other precious metals,” the minister added.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) is monitoring the implementation of R400 billion mining projects committed at various investment conferences between 2018 and 2023.

The minister noted Nkwe Platinum which committed R13 billion in 2021 for a new platinum mine and has to date invested approximately R640 million towards the construction of the mine.

He also added that the Mokala Manganese Mine began construction in 2019, with an investment of R1 billion, and to date 2.3 million tons of manganese have been produced and exported.


Minister Mantashe also said that the DMRE has procured a service provider for the design, implementation, and maintenance of a mining licensing system.

On the licensing backlog, the minister said that significant progress has been made.

“Of the 2,000 applications received since the beginning of the Financial year, the DMRE has granted: 268 prospecting rights, 32 mining rights, 85 renewals, 184 amendments, and 190 permits.

“I have directed the department to work with the necessary speed to wipe out the licensing backlog within this calendar year. It would be remiss of us not to acknowledge the challenges confronted by the industry as a result of these historical backlogs. We are, however, buoyed by the unwavering support and patience from the mining industry,” he concluded.

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