Regional mineral beneficiation policy interventions in the SADC: Industry perspectives B.E. Isheloke* , H. von Blottnitz
Posted by BYELONGO ELISEE ISHELOKE on 20 August 2022, 11:50 SAST
Mining is a significant economic activity in most Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, and mineral beneficiation has been identified and controversially discussed as one of the possibilities for industrialisation. With many member countries being economically too small to muster the human and financial resources which beneficiation requires, the recently adopted Regional Mining Vision (RMV) envisages interventions at a regional level. An opportunity arose to ask industry role players to what extent the SADC appears to support regional beneficiation policy interventions undertaken by member countries, and what the challenges are in undertaking beneficiation regionally, as a complement to, or substitute of country-specific beneficiation policies. Twenty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted with experts from SADC member countries during the 2019 Mining Indaba. Participants were divided on whether beneficiation should be carried out nationally or in the SADC region. While beneficiation could support value-keeping, key challenges were found to be infrastructure development (i.e. energy, water), scarce skills, access to technology and related cost, but also lack of free trade and movement. We submit that a more integrated beneficiation strategy for the SADC region, as is being developed through the RMV, would indeed be relevant in the future. Keywords: Mineral beneficiation, Regional integration, Beneficiation policy interventions, African mining vision, Mining, SADC.