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South Africa Launches Junior Mining Exploration Fund to Boost Economic Inclusion

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) have officially signed an agreement to create the Junior Mining Exploration Fund.

Creating this fund is part of South Africa’s plan to explore minerals. Its aim is to help small mining companies in South Africa get funding to explore for minerals.

Moreover, the Junior Mining Exploration Fund will help these companies find new places to mine, get access to mineral deposits, and support fair economic growth.

To get funding from this program, applicants must follow South Africa’s mining laws. 

These include the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, the National Environmental Management Act, and the National Water Act.

While giving his remarks, IDC Chief Operations Officer Joanne Bate commented,

“We can’t overstate the significance of this industry to our economy. Mining is not only the backbone of our economy but is the largest employing sector in this country.

“Our exposure has informed us of the many challenges facing emerging black-owned mining companies that are looking for a foothold into this sector. 

“Exploration costs can be onerous on small mining firms and, therefore, it is our hope that the fund will help alleviate the challenges facing junior mining companies.”

Read Also: African Leaders Urge Mineral Value Addition at Mining Indaba 2024

Establishment and Management of the Junior Mining Exploration Fund

According to Ntokozo Ngcwabe, Deputy Director General Mining, Minerals and Energy at the DMRE, the IDC will manage the fund. 

He also stated that the DMRE and the Council for Geoscience will decide which minerals the fund can support.

“The Council of Geosciences will be the custodian and play a key role with regards to sharing what is available with the country and applicants. 

“The DMRE will play an oversight role and really lead and drive this process going forward. The IDC will hold the actual fund and run the fund.” 

Ngcwabe further added that, “This is an accumulation of an exploration strategy drafted two years ago. 

“Today, we are breathing life into this strategy and the goal is seeing the country get more investments into exploration. 

“The launch of this fund signals the commitment and seriousness of the DMRE to drive investments into the mining sector of South Africa.”

The DMRE and the IDC are still working out when companies can apply for funding from the fund.