Africa Mining: SA Mineral Minister stresses importance of partnerships for mining sustainability

SA Mineral Resources Minister Gwede MantasheMineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe on Wednesday stressed the importance of partnerships between mining companies and labor, as well as with communities, for mining to be sustainable.

Speaking at the inaugural KwaZulu-Natal Mining Indaba, in Newcastle, he noted that such partnership would ensure that the country realises its objective of creating a meaningfully transformed, competitive and growing mining sector.

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“It’s not competitiveness and growth versus transformation. Both are required in order for the sustainability of the sector,” Mantashe said.

He further emphasised the importance of the rehabilitation of old mining sites, which have the potential to create jobs, while restoring the land that has been mined.

However, nonprofit organisation groundWork on Wednesday said it was disappointed that the event had restricted community participation to only three participants, which would result in the true state of mining in the area not being meaningfully discussed.

“With unemployment close to 40% in South Africa, we cannot rely on an apartheid economic model of mining that has caused ill health, violence and destroyed people’s environments.”

Additionally, the organisation highlighted that the meeting was hosted in areas where there were recent forced removals to make way for mining.

The organisation believes this is a clear example that miningdoes not bring development, but instead threatens the livelihoods of thriving sustainable communities.

KwaZulu-Natal currently has 23 operational mines, operating mainly in coal, heavy mineral sands, as well as sand and aggregate. source: miningweekly.com

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