JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – A South Africa moderately more attractive to investors would catalyse the creation of 50 000 more mining jobs and an additional 200 000 jobs overall, Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter told the Africa Down Under conference in Perth on Thursday.
Speaking a day after Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe announced a R20-billion, ten-year plan to boost exploration spend in South Africa, Baxter noted that, even in the absence of exploration, South Africa’s mining business had massive latent promise.
“South Africa’s mining potential is huge. Even in the absence of a greenfields exploration boom in South Africa, mining investment could almost double in the next four years if the country was to return to the top 25% of the most attractive mining investment destinations worldwide,” Baxter told the conference attended by Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online.
Output, exports and procurement would increase substantially, as would direct and indirect taxes, and royalties paid to the fiscus; and the mining industry would be in a better position to increase its contribution towards infrastructure development and social projects in mining-affected communities.
“Given the industry’s commitment to real transformation, this would also materially advance the entire country’s transformation agenda,” said Baxter, who pointed out that in recent years South Africa had not realised its significant mining potential.