With mining seeing a more sustained improvement in many Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, fortune will favour those miners and supply partners with experience on the ground.
It has been an encouraging few months for mining in the region. While the annual growth figures for March and April this year were expected – as they were off a low base from the Covid-19 lockdowns last year – the positive trend has continued from June. Strong commodities include iron ore, platinum group metals, gold, manganese, copper and cobalt, benefiting the economies especially of South Africa and Zambia Improving prospects for diamonds, uranium and coal also make for some optimism in countries like Botswana, Namibia and Angola. In the longer term, there is a hopeful outlook for platinum and other minerals in Zimbabwe.
The key to mining success in the region, however, lies not with commodity prices; these will always be cyclical and unpredictable. It resides really in the institutionalised knowledge of the companies that operate here, and their understanding of how to respond constructively to the prevailing conditions and future trends.
Among these considerations are evolving regulations on local business participation and a heightened concern with safety and environmental impact. Responsible mining companies have embraced these principles, and it has long been standard procedure for service providers to align with the stringent expectation of zero-harm.
As the mining...
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