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The Junior and Emerging Miners’ Desk (JEMD) was inaugurated in 2018 and has become the voice for the developing mining sector of South Africa. Its key role is to support the Minerals Council’s junior members through policy lobbying, providing advice, linking junior and emerging miners to networks, providing mentorship and disseminating relevant policy information.

While the Minerals Council, at policy level, presents a consolidated position on key policy areas, it is sensitive to the needs of its smaller members which often lack the capacity and resources to implement policy and legislation. In this regard, the needs of the junior sector are always represented in policy positions that are adopted by the Minerals Council. Currently the Minerals Council has 35 members including three mining associations who collectively represent more than 200 small and micro companies.


  • Tebello Chabana: Senior Executive: Public Affairs and Transformation
  • Grant Mitchell: Junior and Emerging Miners’ Desk
  • Alex Khumalo: Head: Social Performance


In South Africa, the term junior mining takes on a wider meaning than in other jurisdictions and includes exploration companies as well as small to mid-tier producers.

Examples of junior producers operating in South Africa are Wesizwe in the PGM sector and HCI Coal in the coal sector. Orion Minerals, an exploration junior, is developing copper/zinc projects in the Northern Cape.

In 2022 junior miners generated R88 billion in revenue, up from R54 billion in 2018. While some of this increase can be attributed to inflation, proportionally the junior sector output increased more than that of the overall mining industry during this period.


Emerging miners is a term indigenous to South Africa. It refers to smaller mining companies or micro-enterprises. Most are new entrants to the industry, and many have full black economic empowerment (BEE) credentials. There has been a significant increase in the number of smaller companies operating in South Africa since the advent of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) in 2002.

Research conducted by the Minerals Council indicates that the majority of mining and prospecting rights are currently held by junior and emerging companies.

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or join the Junior and Emerging Miners’ Desk LinkedIn group, which serves as a platform for discussion and information dissemination.

Fact sheet