Monday, 11 July 2016

A Leader in Mining

A Leader in MiningSouth Africa is a world leader in mining. The country is eminent for its richness of mineral resources, accounting for a momentous proportion of world production and reserves, and South African mining companies are crucial players in the global industry. Its total reserves remain some of the world’s most treasured, with an assessed worth of R20.3-trillion ($2.5-trillion). Overall, the country is estimated to have the world’s fifthlargest mining sector in terms of GDP value.

It has the world’s largest reserves of manganese and platinum group metals (PGMs), according to the US Geological Survey, and among the largest reserves of gold, diamonds, chromite ore and vanadium. With South Africa’s economy built on gold and diamond mining, the sector is a significant foreign exchange earner, with gold accounting for more than one-third of exports. In 2009, the country’s diamond industry was the fourth largest in the world. South Africa is also a major producer of coal, manganese and chrome.


Given its history and mineral prosperity, it is no surprise that the country’s mining companies are key players in the global industry. Its fortes include a high level of technical and production expertise, and all-inclusive research and development activities.


Building a Better Future for Youth
South Africa’s mining industry has plenty of opportunities that young people from different backgrounds and educational qualifications can access. There are noteworthy opportunities for young entrepreneurs to enter the local mining industry, predominantly with a number of senior miners exiting their prevailing assets owing to depressed commodity prices and general business challenges, said Deputy Director-General Joel Raphela, Department of Mineral Resources (DMR).


With South Africa’s economy built on gold and diamond mining, the sector is a significant foreign exchange earner, with gold accounting for more than one-third of exports.
The Deputy Director General of Mineral Regulation, Joel Raphela, at the Department of Mineral Resources said government supports youth upliftment programmes intended at refining young people’s participation in mining. “We continue to reach the youth through the departmental Learner Week Programmes, where we create mining awareness by organizing mine visits around the country. “We also provide learnerships and internships to learners and graduates as part of bridging the work experience gap needed in the employment market,” said Raphela at the Youth in Mining Summit held in Johannesburg.


Entrepreneurial Opportunities
In 2015, during the inaugural Diamond Indaba organized by the State Diamond Trader (SDT), the South African Young Diamond Beneficiators Guild was launched. The association is a collective of mainly black-owned South African small and emerging diamond manufacturers. These manufacturers mainly focus on the cutting and polishing of rough diamonds. In addition, 25 young South Africans are undertaking a two-year training programme in Italy, which will lift the country’s cutting and polishing industries. As part of the initiative, the students will be registered in the watchmaker programme in Switzerland to further their learning and exposure in watchmaking.


A curriculum to teach watchmaking in South Africa is presently being developed, and once approved, would see this special skill being taught for the first time at South African institutions. Raphela said all these initiatives are needed as the “economic empowerment of young people is not an option but a national imperative”.


South Africa & Nigeria: The Beginning of a New Chapter
The recent state visit by the South African President Jacob Zuma to Nigeria marked the beginning of a new chapter in relations between Nigeria and South Africa. Both countries have shared a sometimes turbulent history; they have also at different times celebrated in the joy of aligned moral purpose - at some point towards the dismantling of apartheid, at some other point in the struggle to enthrone democracy.


South Africa’s mining industry has plenty of opportunities that young people from different backgrounds and educational qualifications can access.

The visit offered the opportunity for both the countries to refurbish the pledge of partnership on a number of key issues including mining. A prevailing 2013 MoU charting areas of partnership in the fields of Geology, Mining, Mineral Processing and Metallurgy which had not been implemented was revived. President Buhari thus instructed the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development to work with our South African counterparts to pursue the full implementation of the Agreement.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has defined details of the implementation plan for the 2013 MoU on Mining which provides details of the priority areas Nigeria wishes to benefit from the South African mining industry’s competitive advantage. These include: Advanced Geological Surveys - detailed

geo-sciences data generation; data interpretation analysis and application; assistance in the accreditation of the Geosciences Analytical Metallurgical Laboratories in Kaduna; exploration data reporting standards, mining governance - the review of existing legal and legislative framework; improved mines inspectorate operations and technologies; upgrading and management of cadastral processes and operations, mineral processing and development - processing of industrial Minerals; Beneficiation processes and technologies; value addition, quality assurance and standards in mineral development, etc. Read more....

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