Long known as one of the world's richest mining resources, South Africa's enjoys a robust and contentious industry. An abundance of mineral resources ensures that it is a key player in the global mining industry and South Africa is home to a significant proportion of the world's mineral reserves.

However, investment in the mining industry is not strictly straightforward and there are a number of labor tensions and safety aspects to be considered by any company or individual hiring to enter the sector.

Mining remains a cornerstone to South Africa's economy and continues to attract a large amount of foreign investment. This means that competition can be high and that companies will be looking for investors who not only have money to offer, but who may also be able to provide additional help or connections. For the industry to remain strong, it must continue to adapt, both by adopting new advances in technology and by assessing the labor relationships that their work relies on.

When searching for profitable areas of the mining industry, opportunities that exist for downstream processing and for adding value to iron, carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, PGMs and gold locally can not be ignored. Many additional materials can be found, alongside silver, gold and precious stones such as diamonds there's an abundance of semi precious stones such as tiger's eye. South Africa's government is capitalizing on the opportunities with the introduction of a minerals beneficiation strategy.

Seeing this as a key area for potential growth, the government hopes to develop a trend towards a knowledge-based rather than resource-based movement in the industry. There is already a strong downstream network in place which in turn offers a reliable market for other local products, including steel, liquid fuels, electricity, cement, polymers and plastics. This boosts industry in the area as a whole, rather than limiting benefit to mining related companies specifically.

Those who wish to invest in South Africa's mining industry should also bear in mind the many calls there have been for the country's mines to be nationalised. While these calls have been refused recurrently and in 2012 the President announced a blank nationalization would have been an other way was to be found for the state to benefit from mining endeavors, it is a question that could have been raised again in the future. This is a merely a factor that should be weighed up along the many benefits that can be enjoyed by those entering the sector.

South Africa has also recently been subject to the introduction of more stringent regulations, which have and will prove beneficial for both environmental and safety reasons. Social awareness and a growing knowledge of environmental concerns make this a good time for business and investors who can offer technological advances and sounds ways of working. Responsible power generation , increased health and safety measures and an openness to change could be key factors for success in South Africa's mining ventures of the future.

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