South Africa's trajectory towards a low carbon economy, infrastructure and mining-led economic recovery and green economy are set to receive a boost following the completion of an agreement signed by the Council for Geoscience (CGS) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). This cooperative agreement will open doors for economic growth across key sectors that drive economic growth.

Council for Geoscience and DBSA MOU to boost infrastructure developmentThe CGS has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the DBSA as a strategic development partner that aims to attract investment in unlocking the mineral and energy potential, including green energy technologies.

The MoU also provides a framework for broader cooperation in the field of infrastructure development using geoscientific knowledge and information.

Parties have agreed to conduct activities in the field of geoscience development on the basis of equality, reciprocity, mutual benefit and within the framework of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act of 2005.

The areas of cooperation in this agreement include geoscientific mapping and research for the purpose of mineral and energy security, geological hazards assessments, infrastructure development and land use, groundwater mapping and development of green energytechnologies that will enable the just transition to a low carbon economy.

“The DBSA is excited to be working with the CGS,” says Patrick Dlamini, Chief Executive of the DBSA. “This partnership brings together our complimentary capabilities which we believe will result in significant positive impact to the country’s socio-economic development.”

According to CEO of the CGS, Mosa Mabuza, potential investors have previously been deterred by the lack of geoscientific data to inform investment decisions.

In 2021 the South African government made geoscience data publicly available on adedicated data portal in order to improve data transparency and accessibility.

This move has opened doors for life-changing investment opportunities which has the potential to boost the industries to new heights,' says Mabuza.

This was evidenced by the interest received from various stakeholders at the unveiling of the CGS’ geoscience Data Portal, officially launched by the Minister of Mineral and Energy Resources, Mr Gwede Mantashe at the opening of the Mining Indaba conference and exhibition.

The data portal has been developed to ensure online access to geoscience data and information records published by the CGS in the form of maps, documents and databases are made available to all stakeholders and clients.

This forms part of the CGS’s commitment to ensure that data and information is available and easily accessed to showcase the exploration potential of the country and enable the objective set by Government of attaining 5% of the global share of exploration expenditure in South Africa over the next five years.

The attraction of mineral exploration investment will reignite mineral development, accelerate new mineral discoveries and encourage optimal utilisation of the South African mineral resources in line with the environmental, social, and corporate governance principles for sustainable growth. It is envisaged that these activities will propel South Africa to a competitive position against other jurisdictions of comparable mineral endowment. South Africa has been mapped at a requisite 1:50 000 map scale, the coverage of which currently is at 10% nationally, making it below par in terms of data requirement. The CGS, through its integrated and multidisciplinary mapping programme, aims to increase this 1:50 000 mapping footprint from 10% to 14% in the next five years.

This mapping programme has already led to the identification of prospective mineral corridors such as the REE-rich Garamokoka anomaly in the North-West province, Nickel- Copper-Cobalt regions in the Northern Cape and gold prospects in Giyani in Limpopo,' Mabuza adds.

It is expected that in the post-COVID-19 recovery and the transition to a low carbon economy the appetite for minerals in various applications will continue to increase and therefore will form an integral part of the next economic boom.

“This will require urgent investment in mineral exploration, and we are hopeful that with this, we will be able to revive the mining sector and re-introduce an enabling environment for exploration, thus unlocking future wealth, economic development, job creation and transformation,” concludes Mabuza.

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