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Lack of mentorship and funding a challenge for junior miners – Oliphant

The Department of Mineral Resources has been invited to attend the upcoming G7 summit in Canada, after a seven-year absence in the economic forum, which is attended by some of the most powerful nations in the world.

This is according to Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Godfrey Oliphant who opened the Junior Mining Indaba on Monday.

Oliphant said the invite as well as the DMR’s launch of the “junior miners’ programme” in 2018
has made him optimistic about the future of mining for junior miners in South Africa, as both these events will provide opportunities for new entrants identified throughout the mining value chain.

He noted the programme would also assist miners with issues of access to funding, geological information, compliance and access to markets, in order to diversify ownership, participation and increase investment and job creation in the sector.

“Currently there are over 90 companies on our database, most of them requiring funding opportunities. This has prompted us to partner with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and are in the process of establishing a “junior miners fund” to particularly focus on providing exploration investment capital to black owned emerging miners, considering that funding institutions are not willing to invest in that space.”

The deputy minister said the department was also engaging the private sector to assist government by contributing a small portion of their turnover to the fund to keep it sustainable.

“We urge companies to heed our call and assist us,” said Oliphant.

A partnership with Dti

Oliphant told delegates in attendance that a formed partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry would sponsor junior miners to travel abroad in order for them to attain Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into their projects.

He said this would help keep the mining industry a sustainable one, by injecting funds for mine expansion, rehabilitation, mineral exploration and mines development.

“We will continue to intensify our support to these miners, because the emergence of vibrant small and medium scale enterprises is vital for the future of the mining industry. We believe they are the future drivers of growth and sustainability of the sector,” said Oliphant.

 

 

 

 

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