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SA remains a highly attractive destination for mining - Mantashe

Mantashe says about 60 mining projects with an investment value of more than R110 billion are in the pipeline for the period from now until 2020.

FILE: Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe on Tuesday said South Africa remained a highly attractive destination for investment in mining.

However, he said a secure energy supply was crucial.

Speaking during a debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address on Tuesday, Mantashe said about 60 mining projects with an investment value of more than R110 billion were in the pipeline for the period from now until 2020.

He said the projects would create as many as 32,000 jobs.

“Of these 10 are exploration projects, 26 are expansion projects, 12 are new mining development projects, four are new processing plants and four are sustainability projects to extend the life of mines - while the remaining five are still unspecified.”

Mantashe said ensuring a reliable electricity supply was crucial to realising the sector’s growth ambitions, as mines could only operate at 75% when there was load shedding. He said this was his top priority.

“Top on the list is ensuring security of energy supply through long-term planning – that’s why the amount of money the president committed to for the revival of Eskom is so important. If we cannot ensure that security of supply of energy, the economy is going to pay a big price.”

Ramaphosa announced on Thursday that Eskom would get a significant portion of the R230 billion planned to help it through its financial and operational crisis over the next 10 years.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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