Mining exploration plan may be complete, but this is the 'nightmare' that keeps Mantashe up

accreditation
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.
Picture: Raymond Morare

A long-awaited exploration strategy for the mining sector has been gazetted but the development of a critical cadastre system remains a "nightmare" for the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, Minister Gwede Mantashe has said.

A transparent online cadastre system is considered key if any exploration strategy is to work. A cadastre is a public portal that contains comprehensive geological data about mining jurisdictions, which effectively allows potential investors and interested parties to get clear sight of a record of interests in land and what mining rights are held by whom. South Africa is the only major mining jurisdiction in Africa that does not have such a system.

Speaking at Platinum Group Metals (PGM) Industry Day on Wednesday, Mantashe confirmed the long-awaited exploration strategy has been gazetted. The news comes as a surprise to much of the mining industry, which has not yet had sight of the anxiously awaited plan - considered critical to attract much-needed exploration investment in South Africa's mineral resources.  

There has, however, been concern that the strategy has been closely developed between the department, the Minerals Council South Africa and the Council for Geoscience; and that broader industry consultation has been lacking.

Speaking to Fin24, Mantashe said the department had worked with the mining sector, but there is room for interested parties to come forward and raise issues. "It's about how best can we ... attract investment into exploration, and I think the strategy will fulfil that responsibility. Then we'll move to the next phase, where ... we'll talk about people interested in exploration and how to invest."

Mantashe, however, conceded this remained a problem. "We need it, it is urgent," he said. "It is my nightmare. I don't sleep when I think of it because it makes the industry look very mediocre."

He said government had approached Sentech, a state-owned service provider, for the ICT infrastructure. This has been approved but is likely to face a long process ahead.

Seemingly half-joking, Mantashe told delegates at the event he had offered outgoing Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani the job of promoting exploration in South Africa "for a reduced fee".

He said: "when you retire you better keep yourself active – you live longer".

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
17.20
-0.1%
Rand - Pound
21.30
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
18.70
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.22
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Platinum
1,012.08
0.0%
Palladium
1,618.86
0.0%
Gold
1,928.39
0.0%
Silver
23.60
0.0%
Brent Crude
86.66
-0.9%
Top 40
74,766
+0.4%
All Share
80,791
+0.4%
Resource 10
77,871
-0.4%
Industrial 25
103,872
+0.7%
Financial 15
16,281
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE
Government tenders

Find public sector tender opportunities in South Africa here.

Government tenders
This portal provides access to information on all tenders made by all public sector organisations in all spheres of government.
Browse tenders