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Mineral economics

South Africa has an abundance of mineral resources, accounting for a significant proportion of world production and reserves, and South African mining companies are key players in the global industry. As a global player, it is important that the industry is well positioned as an investment destination through policies that will drive growth within the sector. As such, the objective of the Mineral Economics Directorate is to collect, process and compile mining and mineral statistical data and provide through research, relevant information that will enhance the global competitiveness and attract new investments into the South African mineral industry. The Statistics unit that collects, classifies, collates and analyses mining and mineral related data resides within the Mineral Economics Directorate. The mineral statistics is collected in terms of Section 28 of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002, which stipulates that mining right or mining permit holders are required to submit to the Department, accurate monthly statistical data of employment, remuneration, production, sales and revenue in the sector.

The Directorate produces on an annual basis, economic publications such as the South Africa’s Mining Industry (SAMI), the Quarterly Mining Bulletins, Directories for operating mines across all commodities in South Africa as well the statistical Annual Production Data of all commodities produces in the country, amongst others. The directorate is also responsible for tracking local and international developments in the fields of:  

  • Energy Minerals
  • Ferrous Metals
  • Industrial Minerals
  • Non-ferrous Metals and Minerals
  • Precious Metals and Minerals

The Directorate, in partnership with other Department also participates in promotional conferences or events, such as the Invest in African Mining Indaba (Mining Indaba) (Cape Town), the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) (Canada) and China Mining Conference (China) as well as Africa Down Under (Australia) in a to promoting and encouraging investment into South Africa’s Mining Sector.

The directorate has actively participated in the following international obligations:


In 2000, a small group of African mining ministers embarked on an initiative to curb the trade in conflict diamonds that was fuelling wars in some African countries. Currently, more than 40 producing and trading countries have successfully implemented the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. Already, some of those previously conflict-ridden countries have reported increased revenues from diamonds since the start of the process. Through all the negotiation stages, South Africa was in the driving seat as chair and secretariat. A number of other countries, including Russia, Botswana and Namibia, have already served as chairs.


The African Mining Partnership (AMP), whose main function is to drive the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) mining initiatives, was established during the African Mining Minister's meeting held in Cape Town in February 2004. South Africa is an important role player in this body. South Africa has played an important role as the Secretariat, in hosting as well as coordinating the affairs of the AMP. The AMP was successfully merged with the African Union Conference of Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development, during the last Plenary Meeting of 6-8 February 2010, in South Africa.


The directorate participates in most bilateral meetings by representing the DMR in all mining-related issues.


In October 2003, the European Commission (EC) presented a proposal for a new EU regulatory framework for chemicals, at the nucleus of which is REACH, a single, integrated system for Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals. REACH would require EU companies that produce or import more than one ton/year of a chemical substance to assess the risks arising from their use and to take the necessary measures to manage any risks they identify. Because REACH generally classifies minerals as chemical substances, the proposal will have the potential to seriously affect market access and increase the production costs for certain metals and metals compounds, from South Africa and other countries exporting to the EU. From South Africa all inputs from the mining stakeholders are co-ordinated by the Chamber of Mines, though the South African Ambassador to Belgium plays a significant role. The DMR plays a supporting role to the Chamber of Mines.


Energy Minerals: 


Ferrous Metals: 


Industrial Minerals: 


Non-Ferrous Metals and Minerals: 


Precious Metals and Minerals: 





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