Parliament's portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy said on Friday it had asked the South African Diamond and Precious Metal Regulator (SADPMR) to give its transformation office the capacity to ensure that the sector reflected the demographics of the country. Photo: File

JOHANNESBURG -  Parliament's portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy said on Friday it had asked the South African Diamond and Precious Metal Regulator (SADPMR) to give its transformation office the capacity to ensure that the sector reflected the demographics of the country.

The committee visited the SADPMR and other entities under the department of mineral resources and energy, namely Mintek and State Diamond Trader,  as part of a week-long oversight tour of Gauteng province.

“Although we applaud the regulator for a clean bill of health with regard to finances, its effort to transform the sector still remains a major concern for us," committee chairman Sahlulele Luzipo said in a statement.

The committee said at Mintek, South Africa's national research and development organisation for mineral processing, extractive metallurgy and related technology, it saw examples of how a lack of co-operation between state-owned entities to a large extent contributed to their financial challenges.

The visit to SADPMR highlighted the slow pace in the local beneficiation of diamonds as opposed to production volumes, it said, with data showing that 881,072 carats of diamonds were produced in the 2017/18 financial year, but only 284,212 carats were locally beneficiated.

In mining, beneficiation refers to improving the economic value of ore by removing gangue minerals, resulting in a higher grade product.

- African News Agency (ANA)