JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – An “exciting” new globally competitive mining era is on the way in South Africa as a result of collective industry effort, says Mineral Resources director-general Sandile Nogxina.
Nogxina tells Mining Weekly in a video interview that the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) is at the point of completing all of its obligations under the mining industry growth, development and employment task team (Migdett).
“Migdett identified the binding constraints that reside within the various stakeholder bodies, and we, as government, have played our part by delivering the electronic Samrad system, and being ready to present our legislative amendments and beneficiation strategy to Cabinet,” Nogxina tells Mining Weekly Online.
The new electronic mineral regulation administration Samrad) cadastre is designed to put an end to administrative delays and slip-ups that have characterised the past, and allow the world to apply for prospecting rights on the world wide web from the comfort of their offices.
Samrad has been deliberately launched ahead of the promulgation of amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA), which Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu is piloting through the corridors of government power.
“By the time the MPRDA is amended, we will already be seeing its fruits,” says Nogxina, who has been travelling the world in search of global best practice.
“I visited Quebec, Western Australia and Queensland and I can assure you that we’re entering a very exciting new era. From our side, we’re on the point of completing all our Migdett obligations to ensure that South Africa does not lose out on the next minerals boom,” he adds.
The DMR’s mandate is to ensure that it effects mining sector transformation, sustainability and growth.
“Our mission is to regulate the sector to the benefit of all our citizens,” says Nogxina.
He wants mining to recapture its lustre, contribute meaningfully to the government’s overall objectives of job creation and poverty eradication and to reverse “sluggish” mining-industry investment against the backdrop of emerging economies averaging 7,5% a year growth by 2012.
The DMR is intent on positioning the mining industry within that broader economic growth paradigm, so that it is able to contribute to job creation.
Migdett is targeting 4% to 7% volume growth, 10% gross fixed capital investment growth and 8% to 10% employment growth to create 140 000 additional direct jobs and take the total employment complement to some 640 000.
“This year we will continue with these interventions, so that the mining sector is ready to benefit from the next commodity boom,” says Nogxina.
While the State-owned African Exploration, Mining and Financing company plays a developmental role at high level, the DMR’s small-scale mining strategy will aim to boost jobs at rural level.
The rehabilitation of derelict, ownerless mines is being stepped up and mine water ingress combated through the construction of canals and the sealing of abandoned shafts, in order to minimise acid mine drainage.