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MantasheMining Weekly reports that Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe stressed on Wednesday that the key factor in the future of SA mining was the human element.  

He was delivering the keynote address at a Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection function launching a book on the future of the country's mining industry.  "Mining is about people," affirmed Mantashe.  "When it is not about people, it collapses."  And the people included both the mineworkers and the members of the communities adjacent to the mines.  When considering whether mining would be a sunrise or a sunset industry, "we have to refer to its relations with people", Mantashe stated, adding that his own view was that the industry “has always failed to relate to people in a way that would make it a sunrise industry."  Growing demands from communities was one of three pressure points he identified as squeezing the local mining industry.  A second pressure point was the general attitude in the country towards mining.  "Mining is not a loved sector," Mantashe observed, drily.  The remaining pressure point was increasing environmental demands.  If these issues were not addressed, Mantashe stated, then mining in SA would be a sunset industry. If they were addressed, it would be a sunrise industry.

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