Mining on a ‘knife edge’ due to political strife says Sibanye CEO (Reuters/Times Live – November 28, 2016)

The mining industry is at risk of collapse due to political unrest and labour instability which have negatively impacted investment into the country, the chief executive of the nation’s biggest gold company said on Monday.

Political ructions in Africa’s most industrialised country including scandals surrounding President Jacob Zuma for his alleged connections to the wealthy Gupta family have caused concern among investors, putting credit ratings at risk.

The mining sector, which accounts for about 7 percent of GDP, has opposed the introduction of regulations and laws that could see the powers of the mining minister increase and social capital commitments of companies rise.

“Right now is the worst sentiment I’ve seen from an investment perspective,” Sibanye Gold’s Neal Froneman told Reuters on the sidelines of the Investing in African Mining seminar in London.

“It’s just very clear, we sit on a knife edge as an industry – it could well collapse and that means it’s unlikely that Africa’s potential will be realised because resources will be sterilised.”

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