Pretoria - If South Africa is to succeed in extracting maximum benefits from its mineral endowment it must do business differently, says Mineral and Resources Minister Susan Shabangu.
"We cannot continue to mine and export ore and other raw materials for processing elsewhere, as this limit the benefits we can derive from the exploitation of our resources," she said.
Speaking at the Africa Down Under Conference held in Australia on Wednesday, Shabangu said there was a need to increase value addition to minerals before they are exported, in line with government's new industrialisation priorities.
"This will present enormous investment opportunities in the country for both South African and foreign investors. We, however, need to enlist the support of strategic international partners to facilitate skills and technology transfer for the benefit of local beneficiation," the minister said.
Shabangu said the shortage of skilled human capital, particularly of mining engineers, technicians and inspectors, not only poses a major threat to the sustainable growth of the South African mining industry but also contributes to fatalities and injuries sustained in the industry.
"We have had to seriously examine our options in order to find effective solutions to deal with the challenge of skills shortage," she said.
Among other things, the conference seeks to provide an excellent opportunity to strengthen commercial links in the sector.
Africa Down Under is one of the foremost international mining industry events focused on Africa.