Department of Mineral Resources and Energy
Artisanal mining is being formalised to create an avenue to mine sterilised deposits.
The mineral resources and energy minister, Gwede Mantashe, confirmed this in an address at the 2020 Junior Indaba.
The minister also pointed out that the mineral resources and energy department, as part of the economic recovery plan, will focus on the implementation of the Small-Scale Mining Framework.
“Partnerships with aligned departments and entities will be formed to leverage on their resources and experiences for maximum impact; widen reach by providing technical, social regulatory support for community-based projects, and develop an artisanal and SSM policy”, he said.
According to the minister, South Africa should be an “exploration site that contributes to GDP growth and employment creation”.
He described exploration as the way to go and a priority for the department.
“Sterile mines should be revived, and new minerals discovered,” he said.
The department is committed to promote greater exploration in minerals and upstream petroleum activities.
“To support this, the quality of geoscience information available for investors is being improved and a comprehensive exploration implementation plan is being developed”, the minister said.
Recently, the minister welcomed the second significant discovery of gas condensate off South Africa’s shores.
This followed an announcement by Total last week of a discovery on the Luiperd prospect located in Block 11B/12B off the Mossel Bay Coast.
The minister also confirmed that the draft Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill will soon be finalised.
“We believe the finalisation of the Bill will enable this sector to be fully operational”, he said.
The draft bill designed to make provision for equitable access to and sustainable development of South Africa’s petroleum resources was published for comment in December 2019.