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State miner creates 200 jobs - minister

Sep 23 2014 07:31
Donwald Pressly
Cape Town - The commissioning of the Muisvlak metallurgical plant and the commencement of land diamond mining operations in the 2013-14 financial year has created 200 jobs for the communities of Richtersveld and Port Nolloth related to the state mining company Alexkor, reported Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.

ANC MP RM Tseli questioned the public enterprises minister on the current details of job creation initiatives undertaken by Alexkor in the Richtersveld community.

Brown said 150 direct and 50 indirect jobs had been created in the last year "for the communities" of the far northern Cape region.

Brown reported that overall the state diamond mine had been able to create 428 direct job opportunities and nearly 1 500 indirect job opportunities in the area. "The indirect job opportunities are mainly through contract mining companies in the marine mining operations," she said.

Alexkor was reviewing the contracts to ensure that the awarding of "these contracting mining opportunities" would benefit local entrepreneurs.

Among the social upliftment projects the state mine was involved in was supporting the appointment of four teachers at local schools "to improve the teacher to learner ratios to improve the quality of tuition... of our children in the region".

Precarious existence on state subsidies

The state mine, which is largely dependent on state subsidies to survive, has had a precarious existence for at least 10 years. Acknowledging that diamonds are "a fast-diminishing resource", she hoped the mine would assist in developing a "comprehensive micro-economic development strategy" for the Richtersveld region.

"Ultimately the future of this region is in revitalising the agricultural activities," Brown said. She added that in the meantime she hoped the community of Richtersveld would partner with Alexkor to ensure that viable non-mining enterprises are started from the proceeds of the mining.

She welcomed the investment of R60m in recommissioning a metallurgical processing plant at Muisvlak in the Richtersveld in the past year. This had helped to raise diamond production from 36 000 carats in 2012/13 to 46 000 ct in the last financial year, according to the Alexkor website. It is an alluvial diamond treatment
plant.

 - Fin24

alexkor  |  lynne brown  |  jobs  |  sa economy  |  mining
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