Turok: Lack of understanding hampers beneficiation

"One of the main challenges we had in the past was that we did not have a common understanding [on beneficiation]. There was no consensus, no common understanding of what we are talking about," Turok, chairperson of the Institute For African Alternatives, told reporters on Wednesday.

Turok said another obstacle which prevented South Africa from beneficiation was that there was no agreement in the private sector and government on the potential gains beneficiation could bring to the country.

The briefing followed a meeting held at the Industrial Development Corporation's (IDC) head office in Sandton on Tuesday at which economists, engineering councils, mining companies, unions, government departments and academics met to discuss beneficiation of minerals in South Africa.

Mining companies complained there was no alignment of policy among government departments on beneficiation, Turok said, reporting on the concerns raised during the meeting.

Turok said currently mining companies did some smelting of the minerals but did not take the process to beneficiation.

He defined beneficiation as the transformation of a mineral or a combination of minerals to a higher value product.

A presentation was made during the Tuesday meeting in which the value chain of beneficiation was outlined as consisting of exploration, extraction, processing, beneficiation, semi-fabrication and fabrication.

"South Africa has been judged as the best resourced mineral country in the world. However the beneficiation of these minerals is very low," he said.

South Africa held 88% of the world's reserves of platinum group metals. But only 0.4% of these metals were beneficiated locally.

A total of 80% of the world's manganese reserves were in South Africa and the country enjoyed a monopoly of 72% of the world's chrome reserves.

The report of the meeting would be first sent to participants and then delivered to various relevant government departments, portfolio committees and the chamber of mines with recommendations.

Nationalisation was not discussed at the meeting. – Sapa

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Sapa
Guest Author
Advertisting

Test backlog skews SA’s corona stats

With thousands of samples still waiting to be processed, labs are racing to ramp up testing to help the government gain a better idea of how prevalent Covid-19 really is

M&G’s latest Covid-19 projections

Covid-19 numbers are prompting disaster declarations and dramatic action across South Africa this week. All steps should be directed by numbers

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories