Mineral beneficiation may seem to be the short cut to industrialisation but, in fact, it is either a long and winding road or the road to nowhere. It’s what can be summarised as the gist of the theme of Eunomix’s 2nd Beneficiation Monitor.
The report looks at the current situation in three countries that took the beneficiation path with unintended consequences; in some cases, decisions had to be revised.
Uganda has been forced to lift the ban on mineral after conceding to concerns from the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum that “the ban had breached contracts with investors who had been issued with licenses and had frustrated major developments in the sector”.
A similar situation plays itself in several South African countries. The early excitement about the success of the mineral beneficiation industry, in particular cutting and polishing industry, has effectively petered out. As can be read from developments in Botswana, South Africa and Namibia, the industry continues to shed more jobs at alarming levels. According to the Diamond Indaba, a forum for stakeholders in diamond mining, conditions are so dire that companies have halted operations or in the process of doing so.