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McKinsey research finds that 47 percent of South African mining jobs, along with 42 percent of revenues, are in the vulnerable bottom quartile of global cost competitiveness. Global trends, such as the transition to clean energy and a shift in China’s economic focus away from infrastructure development to new technologies, could dampen demand for South African mining commodities in the years ahead. Mining companies can drive real gains in productivity within the space of a few years if they step up technology adoption and improve key dimensions of organizational health such as employee motivation and the work environment.
Given that the life of a mine can extend to 30 years or more, mining is an important driver of long-term investment. A renewed mining industry can once again be a primary engine of growth, job creation, and development for South Africa.