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Why South Africa needs the mining industry

3 August 2015

There is a lot of doom and gloom around right now concerning South Africa’s mining future.

Mark Cutifani says the future of South Africa needs a sustainable mining industry

Mark Cutifani says the future of South Africa needs a sustainable mining industry

“Yet we have some of the world’s greatest mining assets and minerals resources worth between 2.5 and 3 trillion dollars,” says Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani.

“We have a highly developed physical infrastructure of roads, airports and railways – including dedicated rail links and ports for the export of minerals – and mobile communications.

“Our position in Africa as the continent’s most diversified and sophisticated economy – with first world financial services, including a stock exchange that is 19 th globally in terms of market capitalisation,” added Cutifani.

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According to Cutifani, the South African mining industry is becoming increasingly uncompetitive for a number of reasons.

“Ore grades continue to decline – which places a huge question mark over how much of our vast mineral endowment is economically extractable.

Obviously, we cannot develop these resources at a cost greater than the anticipated realisable price.

Many of our underground operations are becoming unviable – as we have to mine at greater depths, with a consequent increase in unproductive time to get to and from the working face,” said Cutifani.

“We are being constrained by expensive yet inadequate and unstable electricity supply, and by capacity limitations on State-run rail links from mine sites to export terminals.

Investors in South African mining have been scared off by uncertain mining industry regulation and unfriendly investment policies.” concluded Cutifani.

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Mining remains South Africa’s most important industry, contributing about 18 % of South Africa’s GDP, 60 % of exports, more than 500,000 direct jobs, and more than 800,000 indirect jobs.

Through taxes and other benefits, mining pays for 20 cents in every Rand that is invested in public infrastructure and social benefits.

The future of South Africa has to be built with the mining industry being one of the foundations.

We can alleviate poverty in our country.

“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great; you can be that generation.”

Nelson Mandela

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