Anglo American wants to explore base metals in South Africa

CEO Mark Cutifani. Credit: Anglo American

Anglo American wants to explore for base metals in South Africa, but the country needs regulatory changes to make it more competitive with other mining jurisdictions, CEO Mark Cutifani said on Wednesday.

Policy uncertainty, insecurity of tenure and unreliable electricity supplies have stifled investment in Africa’s most industrialised economy, where the mining industry contributes around 9% to GDP.

“We will explore base metals across South Africa… We are already in Zambia and other places, we want to do more in South Africa so we are looking for adjustments in legislation there,” said Cutifani during the 2020 Joburg Mining Indaba conference.

He did not give details.

South Africa is traditionally Anglo American’s core territory, but the diversified miner has offset some of the risk of investing in the country, notably with operations in South America.

Anglo American said its interest in base metals, which include copper, nickel, lead, and zinc, was part of its global discovery strategy in greenfield and brownfield projects.

Cutifani also said he would like its South African platinum group metals (PGM) business to increase production of nickel, which can be used in battery production.

(By Tanisha Heiberg and Helen Reid; Editing by Barbara Lewis)

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