A Chinese company is stalling $5bn in investment, which could cause SA to challenge China as a ferrochrome and stainless steel maker, due to the Department of Mineral Resources’ “use it or lose it” principle on mining rights.
The message to the department from William Yang, CEO of Singapore-based Sail Group, was unequivocal: free up mining rights sterilised by major firms and investment would flood in.
“The Chinese will build anything, but why would China build in SA when you won’t give them something?” Yang said. “Sterilised mining rights, what are they going to do with them? If they sort out this issue I’ll bring in $5bn.
“If I say to you I can bring $5bn, I can. I don’t have to ask anyone. We don’t have debt facilities,” he said. “There are so many companies like us in China that want to invest in SA, but we’re not being given the opportunity,” said Yang.
In his budget speech, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe conceded far too many mining assets were idled.