“There is significant potential for the discovery of other world-class deposits in areas that are yet to be thoroughly explored, using the latest exploration technologies and enhanced geoscientific data,” she said at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town.
“It is against this backdrop that government is now embarking on an effort to support exploration,” she said.
Discovering new deposits would lead to the opening of new mines, a way to meet the national job creation objective.
“To this end, Treasury has set aside a budget for the next three years for geoscientific research, through the Council for Geoscience,” Shabangu said.
“The Council for Geoscience will undertake geological, geophysical and geochemical planning whose data will be made accessible to potential investors.”
South Africa holds some of the highest reserves of gold, manganese and platinum group metals in the world.
According to Shabangu, the country accounts for 88 percent of platinum group metals and about 80 percent of manganese.