South Africa: DMRE Approves R4 Billion Mining Rights

5 September 2019

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has approved mining rights worth R4 billion for Orion Minerals.

"The DMRE has approved a mining right for Orion Minerals, paving the way for the development of a R4 billion copper-zinc project in the Northern Cape," said the DMRE on Thursday.

Speaking at the Australia Down Under mining conference underway in Perth, Minister Gwede Mantashe said this latest investment confirms that South Africa remains a preferred investment destination for mining.

The department said the requisite regulatory and policy certainty have attracted more investment into the country.

The DMRE said the revival of copper and nickel mining in the country provide a good replacement pipeline for the depleting minerals which have been mined for over 130 years.

"They are also an indication that mining is indeed a sunrise industry in South Africa. Therefore, the decline of other minerals should not be interpreted to mean the death of the entire mining sector," said the department.

In 2018, South Africa's mining sector received over US $3.2 billion in investments, which resulted in the creation of an estimated 5 000 jobs.

There are also about 60 projects currently in the pipeline, with an estimated value of US $7.8 billion and potential job opportunities of over 30 000 in the medium to long term.

In February, President Cyril Ramaphosa opened the R5.5 billion Gamsberg zinc mine.

Speaking at the opening of the mine located near Aggeneys in the Northern Cape, President Ramaphosa said Vedanta had heeded South Africa's call for investment at the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference in October 2018.

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