A third of S.Africa miners say no new investments in 2018: survey

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – A third of South Africa’s largest mining companies are not considering any new investments in the sector in 2018 while one of them may even decide to pull out of the country, according to an industry survey unveiled by the Chamber of Mines on Monday.

The mining sector in the world’s top platinum producer has in the recent years been hit by soaring wage and power costs, depressed prices, violent social and labour unrest apart from policy uncertainties.

Underscoring the tough environment, the industry has shed 70,000 jobs in the past five years, with around 465,000 currently employed.

The survey of 16 companies accounting for over 80 percent of national mining output included all of the big players such as Anglo American and Sibanye-Stillwater.

“Some specific company responses were particularly sobering,” the chamber said in a presentation at the Africa mining conference in Cape Town.

“Five companies responded that they were not considering any potential new investments, with one company contemplating from divesting from South Africa entirely – a decision which will be taken in 2018, if the situation does not improve,” it said.

(Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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