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The first day of the Joburg Indaba started yesterday. Due to Covid-19, the event was held as an online discussion where the mining fraternity gathered virtually to discuss all things mining.

In the opening keynote address, Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani was optimistic that there was still hope for South Africa’s mining industry. “I believe that the next decade is going to be crucial for the mining industry and South Africa,” he said.

Cutifani also highlighted that the PGMs reserves gave the country a significant advantage compared to the rest of the world. He highlighted that inclusivity would play a role in the success of the country’s mining industry. “South Africa’s mining industry will be prosperous if it is inclusive.” Closely related to inclusivity is the issue around women in mining. Cutifani stressed that although SA’s mining industry has come a long way in terms of women in mining, the industry is nowhere near where it needs to be considering the stats of female representation in the industry.

He also spoke about a mining processes which had a reduced impact on the environment. “We have to think differently about our mining processes to take into account constraints on water and energy. We can develop mines today with smaller physical footprints,” Cutifani said.

Cutifani concluded his address by expressing optimism for the mining industry, despite the current Covid-19 pandemic. “This pandemic has given us an opportunity to press the ‘reset’ button. We can play a leading role in shaping the next 10 years by building a modern mining industry that embraces innovation and sustainability while making the industry more inclusive,” he concluded.

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