Earlier this year, the South African government gave local beneficiation of minerals a boost by introducing a research and development (R&D) tax incentive as part of the nation’s long-term economic strategy.
The tax incentive, which will provide an income tax deduction of up to 50% to eligible companies, is designed to encourage improved local technology and skills in the mineral beneficiation sector. The move is considered to play an important role in the government’s efforts to achieve greater control of its resources and create more employment opportunities and economic growth for the wider community.
The government’s beneficiation plans informed large parts of the industry discussions at the 2013 Africa Iron Ore conference. Paul Jourdan, an independent mineral policy analyst for South Africa told the audience that it was important to look at the total domestic value added in the final exports.
Applying a demand-side methodology to beneficiation, which takes into account local needs such as the need for new employment opportunities, Mr Jourdan stated that there was no better sector than manufacturing when it comes to job creation. “If you look globally in the last ten years, 800 million jobs were created in manufacturing”, said Mr Jourdan who currently advised the South African government on mineral value chain development. President Jacob Zuma’s government has declared the ambitious goal to prioritise domestic growth and create five million jobs by 2020.
It is in this context that Informa’s International Mining & Metals Series is launching the inaugural Iron Ore Beneficiation Africa conference. The South African government’s beneficiation strategy seems logical from a local policy perspective, however there are some challenges that need to be overcome to make a successful transition. While some hurdles such as appropriate skill development and R&D are already being addressed by government through the aforementioned tax, other challenges such as lacking infrastructure, access to raw materials and international markets for the processed products are still problematic.
The inaugural Iron Ore Beneficiation Africa conference, to be held on the 17th and 18th March 2014 in Johannesburg will offer delegates a deep dive into the technical considerations for iron ore beneficiation. The agenda for this industry event is currently in development and will examine the key factors for improving the processing of magnetite and high impurity iron ore deposits and offer insight into the recent beneficiation projects and latest technological developments. For more information, please visit the conference website. For paper submissions, please contact the conference manager, Kim Aldridge until the 15th November 2013: firstname.lastname@example.org