Date: Feb 14, 2019

Mining competitiveness report projects that mechanisation could result in an extra R71bn in revenue and 52 000 jobs being saved by 2030

Mining Minister Gwede Mantashe last week reiterated his intentions to push ahead with efforts to determine whether there would be mining at Xolobeni in the Wild Coast region of the Eastern Cape.

“What we want to do is engage the community of Xolobeni, which we have done,” he said during a media conference at the African Mining Indaba, which took place in Cape Town from February 4 to 7.

“A person made the comment that we are here for the third time. ‘It has never happened, Minister,’ that person said. ‘Ministers used to come here. They get a hard time and they disappear forever. They never come,’” Mantashe said.

“I replied that I want to be here [in Xolobeni] 10 times until the Xolobeni issue is resolved. We cannot have the Xolobeni issue on the table from 2002 until now and keep it hanging all the time … We cannot keep it hanging for more years now.”

Mantashe has mantained that the community of Xolobeni needs mining in order to bring development in the area this despite a court ruling in November that his department must obtain consent from the Xolobeni community before giving mining rights to any mining company seeking to operate there.

Mantashe said that at Xolobeni the process of awarding mining rights had been stopped. “As we sit here today, there is no company that has access to mining.”

Australian company Mineral Commodities, which trades on the Australian Securities Exchange as MRC, has applied for prospecting and mining rights in Xolobeni, but will have to wait until the moratorium on the processing of applications for that area is lifted.

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