Growth of artisanal and small-scale miners key to transformation

Mineral Resources and Energy Deputy Minister, Dr Nobuhle Nkabane, has assured artisanal and small scale miners that government will continue to provide support and assistance to facilitate their growth in the mining sector.

The Deputy Minister was delivering a keynote address at the inaugural Artisanal Small-Scale Miners and Emerging Miners Symposium hosted by Mintek in Randburg on Thursday.

‘As part of government’s efforts to grow a globally competitive and transformed mining sector, the department…introduced the artisanal and small-scale mining policy in 2002. At the core of this mining policy is the need for all stakeholders to collaborate and work together on the training and development of artisanal and small-scale miners to mine the marginal deposits that are considered less valuable by large mining companies.

‘As part of DMRE’s [Department of Mineral Resources and Energy] efforts aimed at facilitating and opening up funding opportunities for these miners, in January this year, the department publish
ed an invitation for artisanal miners and small-scale miners to apply for the funding designated to assist with financial provision for rehabilitation and capital equipment,’ she said.

Some 21 companies have been shortlisted to receive funding and added to that, the department has launched a R400 million exploration fund to assist in exploration and discoveries and increase junior miners, amongst others.

She emphasised that it is the duty of the industry and organisations like Mintek (South Africa’s mineral research and technology organisation) and government to ensure that the mining sector is transformed.

‘All of us here should ask ourselves what legacy are we going to leave. If we don’t want to be part of transforming the sector, who else is going to do that because we are given that responsibility of transforming the sector.

‘How are we going to do it? We must support small scale and artisanal miners. It should not be the responsibility of a single person; it should be our responsibility. The fact of
the matter is that our current development will be spearheaded by [Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises] including the artisanal and small-scale miners,’ she said. –

Source: South African Government News Agency