Despite problems SA still represents half sub-Sahara mining
A new report by BMI Research, a Fitch company, shows despite South Africa’s many setbacks and challenges the country will continue to dominate mining in sub-Sahara Africa.
BMI says outlook for mineral production, trade and consumption will vary significantly across the region with Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recording the strongest economic growth rates due to a combination of strong investment sentiment, stable inflation and the former’s peace dividend.
While the DRC and Côte d’Ivoire’s mining industry value (MIV) will total $4.2bn and $0.5bn respectively in 2016, South Africa’s MIV will dwarf that of the central and West African countries at a total of $29bn, accounting for 52% of sub-Sahara’s total MIV before falling to 48% by 2020.
South Africa’s MIV is forecast to contract 11.4% in 2016, followed by years of close to zero growth. The fall in value of copper which represents more than half of the DRC’s goods exports, will see the sector shrink in value, but growth is set to enter double digits from 2018 onwards.
BMI says gold and copper exports from the region enjoy the strongest growth prospects, but platinum and iron ore will fare relatively poorly due to a combination of continued price weakness, depleting reserves, rising production costs combined with labour unrest and regulatory uncertainties in top producer South Africa.