The Minerals Council South Africa (MCSA) begins a new era in April 2022, moving into modern premises in Rosebank, and closing a century-long chapter at its historic building in Johannesburg’s central business district.

The old building on Hollard Street in the CBD was constructed in 1921. The first board meeting to be held at the building by the then-Chamber of Mines was on 27 March 1922, almost a century ago to the day the Minerals Council took occupancy at Rosebank Towers in early April 2022.

“The Minerals Council, formerly the Chamber of Mines, is synonymous with Johannesburg. We have promoted and protected our members interests, while being mindful of the country’s imperatives, for 132 years, mostly from our graceful, history-filled building in central Johannesburg. But the time has come to move to premises that are better suited to serving our members in a modern, easily accessible, and efficient environment,” said CEO Roger Baxter, who joined the then-Chamber of Mines in 1992.

Why the relocation?

The 17-story art-deco style building with its two basement parking levels on Hollard Street was refurbished in 2018. The Minerals Council had tenants in the building, but it remained too large and impractical for a smaller, more agile Minerals Council team, particularly since 2020 and into 2021 when staff worked from home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Staffing levels dropped to 49 full-time employees from a peak of about 7 500 people – with 700 in the Hollard Street building and the others using nearby offices – when the Chamber of Mines was not only an advocacy and lobby organisation but provided a range of services, like research and development, to the mining industry. Those services were contracted to third parties or halted since the early 1990s, allowing the Minerals Council to focus on its core operations of advocacy and lobbying on behalf of its 79 members.

The Minerals Council’s member companies, which had offices in the downtown area of Johannesburg, have largely relocated out of the CBD. The Minerals Council has opted to move to Rosebank to have safe, easy access to transport links, with the Gautrain within walking distance from the new office, and be in a thriving, vibrant location that is close to a cross section of our members.

Leaving behind a historical landmark

The Hollard Street building will be sold. According to Baxter, the Minerals Council building – historically called the Chamber of Mines building – is a landmark, and one that organisation sought to preserve while at the same time modernising its facilities. “We will do all that we can to continue to preserve some of the historic and very beautiful parts of it as we hand it over to a new owner,” explained Baxter.

“It’s sad to leave so much of our legacy behind, but we are a modern, efficient organisation. We take our 132 years of history, learning and experiences to embrace the future in service of our members as we strive to make the mining industry the best it can be for the benefit of all South Africans,” he concluded.

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