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At the beginning of a brand new year, one automatically reflects on the past year, and contemplates what 2009 will bring. I am sure you will agree that 2008 was a very eventful year for our industry, which started with the South African power crisis in January, and ended with the global financial crisis that resulted in an economic slowdown, currency volatility, a sharp pull-back in commodity prices and rising unemployment. Economists predict that 2009 will be a tough year, that we need to tighten our belts, and that we will have our fair share of challenges. Fortunately the majority of economists remain optimistic about the resilience of our economy, and some even predict that by the end of 2009 the South African economy might be stronger than is considered possible at present.

My wishes for us who work in the mining and metallurgical industry for 2009 is therefore that we will seize the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, that we will persevere, strive towards excellence, capitalize on positive news and celebrate our achievements, notwithstanding the hardships. And on a more personal note: my wishes for you for 2009 are that you and your loved ones will enjoy good health, that you will find inspiration, meaning and happiness in your lives, and that you will savour the good times! May 2009 pleasantly surprise us! A.M. Garbers-Craig President

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Mining Weekly | Africa

The latest mining world news and project information from Africa.
  • Mining sector unloved as investors find it hard to trust
    Investors are shunning the mining sector, data from Thomson Reuters shows, as they struggle to forget the string of multi-billion dollar takeovers and expensive development projects that left them empty handed. A decade-long commodity boom coincided with years of economic growth when China took off, but when the global economy slowed, so did the market for commodities from oil to copper.
  • Acacia Mining says valuing Tanzania mines for possible sale
    Gold miner Acacia Mining confirmed on Friday it had begun to value its Tanzanian operations for a potential sale after expressions of interest from Chinese buyers. "The company is engaging with a small number of potential investors, the process remains at a very early stage and there can be no certainty that an agreement will be reached," the London-listed miner said in a statement.
  • Jobs summit announced as Ramaphosa delivers message of ‘hope and renewal’
    President Cyril Ramaphosa, who sought to align his nascent presidency as closely as possible with that of President Nelson Mandela in his inaugural State of the Nation (SoNa) address on Friday night, announced that a jobs summit would be convened in the coming months to allow social partners to come up with "practical solutions" to the country’s high unemployment rate. Framed under the theme of "hope and renewal", the address was not characterised by the disruptions to which South Africans had become accustomed in recent times. Instead, the mood was joyous and collegial, with a number of Ramaphosa’s points being warmly applauded.