The strategic journey for the Mandela Mining Precinct is aligned to the National Development Plan which focusses on development to 2030, as well as the Minerals Council of South Africa’s 2030 vision for modernisation.

From a strategic perspective, if mining RD&I is to be sustainable, it must align to national objectives, which in this case are:

  • The National Development Plan which charts a development path to 2030 for the economy as a whole;
  • Economic Transformation, Inclusive Growth and Competitiveness: towards an Economic Strategy for South Africa;
  • The Africa Mining Vision which creates a vision for the optimal use of the continent’s mineral wealth, for the benefit of its people;
  • The Department of Science and Technology white paper which outlines the spending required in a successful economy on RD&I, which in this case is 1.5% of GDP by 2030;
  • The commitment of the Department of Trade and Industry to support the export drive for mining capital goods and services.
  • The Department of Mineral Resources and other stakeholders who committed to a Mining Leadership Compact that is included in its Vision 2030 for a mining cluster that ‘is competitive, appropriately skilled, modernised, invests in R&D and a compelling investment destination’.

The SAMERDI strategy defines a pathway to 2030, in terms of the modernisation of mining. This is referring to modernisation work within the mine face. The funds available to SAMERDI are only sufficient for the SAMERDI programmes and projects which have been identified, in terms of:

  • Longevity of Current Mines;
  • Mechanised Drill and Blast;
  • Non-explosive rock breaking;
  • Advanced Orebody Knowledge;
  • Real Time Information Management Systems; and
  • Successful Application of Technology through People.

What is clear, as described above, is that this work cannot exist in isolation. As a result, activities at the precinct also include close liaison with MEMSA to ensure that their journey is aligned with SAMERDI, and that other impacts of modernisation and eco-system thrusts and activities such as local industrialisation and agri-business development are aligned to the 2030 journey.

Internally, the work done, referred to above as scope change, into the development of the mining equipment manufacturing cluster, local industrialisation, beneficiation and local agri-business development must all align to the same strategic journey map. This has been done and the convergence of these is shown below

These journey maps are developed to take into account, inter alia, the following:

  • Modernisation of Mining in South Africa is imperative to the longevity of mining;
  • As fourth-industrial revolution technologies mature, they will be commercialised through partnerships with SA OEMs;
  • Impact assessments and engagement with local communities, to define and develop “companion projects” in local industrialisation;
  • SA needs to develop a high level of technological dynamism to optimise the shared value of the minerals it mines;
  • Optimise agricultural and associated agricultural input and processing activities that can be unlocked through making quality mining company owned land and water available at scale so as to create value and jobs as well as enhancing food security;
  • Incubation and support for developing SMMEs in supply chain development and technology innovation.

These journey maps illustrate a new requirement, which requires additional funding. Current funding levels through SAMERDI are directed to pure mining research. In this expanded scope case, further, external funding will be required as a strategic issue.