While there may be tough choices and trade-offs to be made, the South African mining industry must continue to balance sustainability, competitiveness and transformation, exploration company Tranter Resources CEO Humphrey Mathe said on Tuesday.

Greeting delegates at the African Mining Indaba, which kicked off at the Cape Town Convention Centre on Monday, Mathe said: “We cannot put on our blinkers while we pursue one or the other in isolation.”

“We must seek to ensure growth and sustainability in the mining industry and that means all three key elements of sustainability social, economic and environmental must be fulfilled.”

He added that, in terms of an economically sustainable mining industry, “We need to force the growth that is more equitable and inclusive of all South Africans, women, youth and the historically disadvantaged South Africans”.

“Socially, we need to improve the health, income and living conditions of the poor majority. In terms of the biophysical aspects of sustainability, we need to ensure the equitable and sustainable use of natural resources now, and in the future. Sustainable development challenges in the SA mining sectors are multifold,” said Mathe.

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