Developed following numerous consultations with the government and other stakeholders in the mining industry, this conference, which will take place on the 6th and 7th of September, 2010, is a multi-endorsed and industry-funded Critical Dialogue on mining in South Africa today. It is being held in light of the policy review process that is being undertaken by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) in respect of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA).

As the name suggests, "Mining For Change - A roadmap to development and sustainable growth" is a conference designed to serve as a catalyst for an inclusive, objective, credible, high level, evidence-based dialogue that can help ensure that South Africa reaps maximum economic benefit from the mining sector, an important component of the country's economy.

Given South Africa's developmental deficit within the context of a demanding and ever-changing global economic context, a challenging investment environment and industrial policy context, Mining For Change will, through a diverse range of perspectives, examine how South Africa's mining industry can accelerate economic growth and development whilst ensuring that the challenges of transformation, worker and community empowerment, environmental sustainability and government policies are addressed.

Towards this end, and in keeping with the primary goal of providing valuable and strategic direction for effective policy development, the conference will be organised around the following themes:

1. International Lessons - for South Africa to maximise the benefits from its vast mineral resource endowment, it is vital that we understand the policy lessons that can be derived from the successful experiences of other resource endowed countries. The conference will therefore draw on best practice models of natural resources management for the achievement of sustainable economic development. from around the world.

We have identified a list of top-of-the-shelf speakers who represent leading resource economies such as Canada, Venezuela, and Norway and will share their knowledge of these countries' natural resource experiences. The speakers and countries have been carefully selected to enable conference participants to interrogate the impact of issues such as corruption, nationalization, using natural resources to increase regional influence, and managing natural resources in a globalised world where mineral resources are geographically located while capital and financial flows are geographically dispersed and highly mobile. Specifically, these country case studies have been identified in light of their various policy attempts to enhance the developmental impact of their resource industries through innovative mineral resource governance and ownership models.

2. Local Dynamics - In addition to the international models, the South African mining industry has its unique complexities that must be addressed. For this reason the conference will create a platform where critical debates that have been raised in recent months can be examined.

These include:

  • Scenario Planning - What happens if the government changes the rules halfway through the game by introducing alternative policy positions?
  • Labour - Are the expectations of labour realistic?
  • Transformation - Can it be achieved in a sustainable and inclusive manner, without compromising the sector's competitiveness?
  • Government policies - What are the policy tools and interventions that are necessary to facilitate accelerated growth and transformation in mining? Are the government's current policy positions adequate and can they be successfully applied towards these ends?
  • Nationalisation - is it a viable policy option and what could its possible impact be on the mining sector and the South African economy as a whole?

Mining For Change aims to consolidate these positions and analyze how they could impact and shape South Africa's path towards becoming an equitable, economically sustainable, and competitive resource-based economy.

3. Informed by Research - The conference will be informed by significant research on the Mining Landscape to date, and will provide insights on the progress that has been made towards fundamentally transforming the industry and ensuring its long term sustainability vis-à-vis its contribution to the sustainable growth of the South African economy.

The research has explored, inter alia:

  • The level of progress that has been made by industry players in South Africa to reach the government's targets for broad-based black economic empowerment. Preliminary findings from the research in this regard have largely shown limited progress. Black ownership of mines for example was found to be way below the 14% mark that was envisioned as a target for 2009 in the mining charter.

This research will be supplied to all delegates as pre-conference reading material to guarantee that arguments and the depth of their content are significant and constructive, ensuring that the dialogue does not become a vacuous talk-shop.

As with the research project, the key to the success of this conference lies in maintaining independence, objectivity, and rigor, all of which are indispensable for gaining stakeholder endorsement. As such, while the discussions will be embedded in a dialogue that will be shaped by the various stakeholders, the conference has been organised in a non-partisan way to ensure equal representation of all the views on the future of mining in South Africa.


  • Large Mining Companies
  • Small Mining Operators
  • Mining License Holders
  • International Interest Groups
  • Government
  • Political Party Representatives
  • Labour Organizations
  • Service Providers to the Mining Sector
  • Chamber of Mines
  • Research Organizations
  • Environmental Bodies
  • Business Organizations
  • Analysts
  • Media


  • A Case For Transformation In South African Mining.
  • State Economic Management And Resource Ownership In An Era Of Globilisation: The Case Of China
  • Unpacking The Macro-Economic Impact Of The Super Tax On The Competitiveness Of Mining In Australia: The Case of Australia.
  • The Pros And Cons Of Resource Nationalism: The Case Of Venezuela.
  • Using Effective Resource Management And Technology Driven Industrial Strategies For Development: The Case Of Canada
  • Enhancing State Capacity To Leverage Resources Wealth For Sustained Economic Development: The Case Of Norway
  • A Cautionary Note On The Political And Social Costs Of A Lack Of Transformation- Insights From Zimbabwe: The Case Of Zimbabwe.
  • The Limits To And Opportunities For Accelerated Transformation In South Africa’s Mining Sector Through The Mining Charter.
  • Overview of the Mining Sector Progress in Transformation.
  • Nationalizing the Mines for Effective Transformation: Policy Tools And Requirements
  • Changing the Rules of the Mining Game Mid-Way: Scenarios and Implications for the South African Economy.
  • Prioritizing the Interests of Labour in Mining Sector Transformation.
  • A Rescue Package for Black Capital? Contesting Mine Nationalization from the Left.
  • Mine Ownership As The Catalyst For Transformation In South Africa's Mining Sector
  • Industrial Policy, Mining Benefication, And Increasing HDSA Participation In The South African Economy
  • Options For Strenghtening Participatory Rural Development - An Agenda For Public/Private Complementiary?