The South African Chamber of Mines says that despite a resurgence of hope in the mining sector in 2018, an uncertain policy regulatory environment and the lack of ethical leadership and good governance continue to drag the sector down.

Chamber of Mines Chief Exectuive Officer Roger Baxter says the challenges in the regulatory environment in 2017 were the worst the industry had ever experienced, which left the chamber with no choice but to bring four legal challenges against the amended Mining Charter.

Speaking at a breakfast briefing before the start of the 2018 Mining Indaba opened Monday in Cape Town, he said: The extent of the damage done to South Africa, to institutions and the economy as a whole and the mining industry in particular has been a mess.

"Minister Zwane's revised Mining Charter that he developed with his officials in some back room somewhere which has the potential to sink the industry is in our view probably the lowest point in living memory from a regulatory institutional perspective.

However, Minerals and Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane says the mining sector in 2017 continued to strengthen and this will continue within the short to medium term into 2018 because of the rise in commodity prices, supported by renewed investment for the sector.

Speaking at the opening of the 2018 Mining Indaba, he said the growth had been driven by demand and international price increases for zinc, iron ore and copper.

However, although the sector registered modest growth, it did not create the envisioned one million jobs needed for the sector.

We can confidently accept that the spring in mining is indeed blossoming into summer. A recent improvement into exploration activities and expansion projects has been constrained by a balance sheet conservatism adopted as a defensive measure.

The government will intensify investments and put more money in intensive mapping projects and geosciences, he added.


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