WATCH: #GamsbergMine officially opened by Ramaphosa
Economy / 28 February 2019, 2:25pm / Staff Reporter
JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa today unveiled the plaque to officially open the much anticipated Gamsberg Mine.
The Gamsberg Mine near Aggeneys is located in the mining centre between Springbok and Pofadder and will contribute to job creation and skills development.
The new mine is owned by India’s globally diversified natural resources company Vedanta Resources Limited as part of their Black Mountain Mining (BMM) operations.
The Presidency said Gamsberg will exploit one of the largest known, undeveloped zinc ore bodies in the world and will comprise an open pit mine and a dedicated processing plant.
Ramaphosa said during his address at the launch, "It is a great honour to be present at the official opening of this mine, which is a milestone in the economic development of the Northern Cape and the country.
It is an honour to be among a diversity of people who are contributing in different ways to a better future for all our people. The presence here of a significant global investor, of government leaders and officials and of leaders and members of communities gives meaning to our call that we should all participate and work together to grow South Africa together."
"The Vedanta Gamsberg project is an important step in our shared journey to revive our mining industry.
It confirms our view that with an effective regulatory framework, improved collaboration between all stakeholders and sustained investment, mining has the potential to be a sunrise industry. South Africa has vast undeveloped mineral deposits that we have the opportunity to exploit for the benefit of all the people of this country. We welcome this substantial investment by Vedanta, which not only deepens South Africa’s relationship with India but also signals Vedanta’s confidence in the future of South Africa’s mining industry," Ramaphosa added.
"To the people of Namaqualand we say thank you for investing your talent and skills in making this project a success.
It is through your efforts that you will reverse the legacy of unemployment and inequality. Twenty-five years into our democracy, we have made important strides in transforming the mining industry. We have sought to achieve this through the development and implementation of progressive legislation and policies," Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa also said during his address that the Mining Charter provided a credible roadmap to a developing, thriving and transforming industry. He added that the finalisation of the Mining Charter has brought about far greater certainty and stability, a necessary condition for investment on the scale that we seek.
"We are confident that we will see more mining projects of this magnitude as many more investors, like Vedanta, see the great potential not only in mining but also across the South African economy.
The annual Mining Indaba, which was held earlier this month, demonstrated the high level of interest shown by investors in our country and in the continent as a whole. We are keen to work with the industry to improve the investment climate and improve the ease with which mining companies do business in our country."
He commended Vedanta on the R44 million it spent last year on training and social projects aimed at skills development, health, enterprise development and municipal infrastructure support. He added that
this was accompanied by R77.5 million spent on local enterprises.
Ramaphosa said, "This is important to report on because it demonstrates that while there are undeniable challenges in some mining communities, there is important work taking place to address them."