The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has finally published the long- awaited Exploration Strategy and the Exploration Implementation Plan documents. Having been part of the proposed draft plans agreed upon in January 2021, the Minerals Council South Africa however cautions that there have been changes made and they therefore need time to study the documents before they can comment.

In a statement made on Wednesday 13 April 2022, the Minerals Council said, “The MCSA will study both documents to analyse and understand what the DMRE has changed since the Minerals Council, the Council for Geoscience and the regulator started negotiating the Exploration Implementation Plan in 2020.

While we have early concerns with the quality of the drafting of the Exploration Strategy for the Mining Industry of South Africa, we also note there are numerous changes to the draft Exploration Implementation Plan that was agreed to in January 2021 and which we need time to examine and understand before we are able to comment.

With South Africa ranked for the first time in the 10 least desirable of 84 global mining jurisdictions in the Fraser Institute’s Mining Companies Survey 2021, as measured by the Investment Attractiveness Index, the mining industry needs investor-friendly regulations and policies to ensure sustainable, inclusive growth to benefit all stakeholders.

One of the most urgent matters for the DMRE to address is the rapid implementation of a transparent, functional, corruption-free, online cadastre system to replace the failed SAMRAD system that has stymied exploration, expansion of the junior mining sector, and growth of the South African mining industry. The Minerals Council and its members have offered financial and technical assistance to the DMRE to urgently implement a readily available, internationally proven, and off-the-shelf solution.

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