Reasons for Optimism in the Middle East and African Mining Industry


One of the primary reasons for optimism in the Middle East and African mining industry is the minimal impact the COVID-19 pandemic has on production. Output is expected to stay on track for the balance of 2021.

According to Fitch Solutions’ May 2021 report, The Sukari gold mine in Egypt posted record revenues in 2020 stemming from skyrocketing gold prices. Because of these factors, the government is welcoming international miners and amending laws to spur further investment.

The same report indicates that the Saudi government is investing heavily in the mining industry, aiming to make it a foundational piece of the economy and creating an attractive long-term investment opportunity. On a shorter horizon, phosphate production is ramping up for the balance of 2021, along with a new gold mine projected to begin operations in late 2021 or early 2022.

As global demand for electric vehicles (EV) rises, so will the need for minerals such as nickel, lithium and cobalt. Currently, there is a shortage of the nickel grade required to make batteries, which has caused a price increase for the material. These factors are fueling growth in countries such as Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa. In these countries, previously latent mines are coming online and four new projects are expected to commence soon.

Along with nickel, EV production also requires lithium. The need for additional raw material sources is anticipated to draw heavy foreign investment as mining firms expand the scope of exploration activities in several African countries.

While there are numerous reasons for optimism in the region, the diamond industry forecasts a continued downturn. Lower consumer demand, coupled with a shift to lab-grown diamonds, is tamping down expectations.

Regardless of the situation, John Crane is here to serve the mining industry’s needs. For companies in areas anticipating growth, our sites in the region are operating in accordance with recommended health guidelines to ensure worker and public safety. Local production and service centers are equipped to supply the mining market with the products and repairs needed to meet growing demand. Technicians and engineers are available to troubleshoot problems that delay production. For areas forecasting further difficulties, John Crane offers products and engineering solutions that aid in cost control and the conservation of natural resources.

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John Crane provides innovative sealing solutions and engineering support regardless of required customer parameters.  Our team is prepared to assist, whether it be uncovering cost-cutting solutions, eliminating environmental hazards or keeping rotating equipment operational. Learn how John Crane can support your mining operation.

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Contact us today to discuss any application questions with our Middle East and Africa mining experts.

Source: Fitch Solutions Middle East and Africa Mining Insight May 2021.

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