Water-strapped Beaufort West will have access to a new source of potable water next week, when the Department of Mineral Resources hands over five boreholes to the town's municipality, Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said in his keynote address at the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town.
Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane
The groundwater source was discovered by the Council for Geoscience (CGS), a statutory science council reporting to the minister of mineral resources, while conducting research on the development of shale gas in the Karoo.
“This is a result of the multidisciplinary and integrated approach to our geosciences mapping in the country, which is yielding results of science responding to societal issues,” he said.
The R20bn, 10-year intensive mapping programme headed by the CGS is proceeding well and will create a multidisciplinary integrated mapping platform that constitutes all aspects of the geosciences field, with geophysics, remote sensing, physical mapping, engineering geology, structural geology, geochemistry and seismology as the pillars, by 2026. “In the past year we have doubled coverage of the country at the scale of 1 to 50.000, from 5% to 10%. At the same time, in excess of 40,000 geo-chemistry samples were collected last year, whilst the high-intensity geophysics programme is also advancing well.
Zwane also elaborated on goal of governments across the continents to increased beneficiation.
“We have worked to create an enabling environment for mining-linked manufacturing in South Africa. Our energy supply has stabilised and there is sufficient energy for new enterprises. We have established special economic zones with the relevant infrastructure, where investors will benefit from special incentives, infrastructure and proximity to raw materials.
“As host of over 80% of global reserves, South Africa has taken the lead in research and development for downstream beneficiation of PGMs principally through the Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) flagship project which is focused on developing downstream beneficiation of platinum through its use in hydrogen powered fuel cells. We stand ready to partner with investors in this and other priority value chains including titanium, iron ore and jewellery,” he said.
The minister also said that his department would intensify its support for junior miners in 2018, following the launch of its support programme at the Indaba last year.
The programme was created to provide opportunities for new entrants identified throughout the mining value chain, as well as assist with issues of access to funding, geological information, compliance and access to markets, in order to diversify ownership and participation and increase investment and job creation in the sector.
“The emergence of vibrant small and medium scale enterprises is vital for the future of the mining industry as a whole, they are the engines of tomorrow’s growth and will embrace the participation of women, youth and rural communities,” Zwane said.
Nicci Botha has been wordsmithing for more than 20 years, covering just about every subject under the sun and then some. She's strung together words on sustainable development, maritime matters, mining, marketing, medical, lifestyle... and that elixir of life - chocolate. Nicci has worked for local and international media houses including Primedia, Caxton, Lloyd's and Reuters. Her new passion is digital media.
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