The junior and small-scale mining sectors in South Africa play an important role in the livelihoods of numerous communities. Mining is an opportunity, in the post-1994 democratic era, for many individuals to obtain access to much required empowerment and socio-economic development. These sectors are, however, not without numerous characteristics that pose problems for operators, legislators, and other role-players. Mining is inherently risky, with operators experiencing numerous difficulties throughout the life of mine. This critical analysis provides understanding relating to the junior and small-scale mining sectors of South Africa, as well as how mineral resource management issues impact these sectors. The different phases within the risk management cycle are described together with key techniques available to reduce the associated risks. The applicability of these techniques for use in the junior and small-scale mining sectors is highlighted. Opportunity does exist for junior and small-scale prospects and operations to include such techniques in either the search for funding or monthly planning and functioning. It is, therefore, the risk management cycle and how it currently applies to a mineral resource suitable for exploitation by the junior and small-scale mining sectors that are the core focus. No management process can create additional value in the ground, but various available mechanisms can go a long way to quantifying the inherent risk that exists, highlighting the need to manage the risks and hopefully allowing the entrepreneur access to the intrinsic opportunities of the emerging mining sector in South Africa.
Dissertation (MSc (Earth Science Management and Practice))--University of Pretoria, 2007.