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Title: Exploring the effects of BRICS partnership on mineral beneficiation in South Africa
Authors: Isheloke, Byelongo Elisee 
Issue Date: 31-Aug-2018
Since South Africa (SA) joined the BRIC countries in 2010 to form the BRICS partnership, there has not been an agreed-upon mineral beneficiation model for the partnership. Co-operation among the BRICS countries requires the partners to embrace collaborative synergies for international business integration.
The aim of this study is to explore the effects of the BRICS partnership on mineral beneficiation in SA. Four objectives were assigned: first, to explore the influence of BRICS partnership on mineral beneficiation in SA; second, to identify the implementation challenges of BRICS interventions in SA; third, to explore the possible outcomes of BRICS influence on mineral beneficiation; and lastly to develop a model for mineral beneficiation in the context of BRICS in SA.
Theories on international trade and co-operation as well as mineral beneficiation form the basis of the research and are explored along with theories that emphasise the significance of risk, trust and uncertainty in co-operative arrangements. The investigation adopts a three-phase study model. First, an exploration was conducted in order to discover the basics about the research problem. Communications directed to the target population and one-on-one meetings held on the field were instrumental in gathering preliminary information. Second, two measurement instruments were developed and examined by experts. This stage culminated in the actual survey and interviews. Third, literature was further reviewed with the aim to benchmark SA with BRIC countries in terms of best practices in mineral beneficiation.
Data was collected through the administration of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. A census was conducted due to the fact that the population was small (79), consisting of 69 companies and 10 representatives from three different departments/organisations. For the quantitative part of the study, 69 questionnaires were sent to mining companies online and as hard copies. Of those questionnaires, 21 were returned with information. This constitutes a 30.4% response rate. In addition, eight interviews (out of ten initially planned) were conducted for targeted government departments and for the umbrella organization representing mining companies. Thus, an 80% response rate was achieved for the predominantly qualitative study.
The quantitative data was analysed with SPSS version 24.0. 58% of responding companies extract strategic minerals such as coal, diamond, gold and platinum. To

achieve objective one, the perceptions of participants on the influence of BRICS partnership on mineral beneficiation in SA were collected. A total of 90% of representatives stated that mining skills training is a factor for downstream mineral beneficiation, suggesting the need for skills transfer. Amongst the BRICS countries, SA was thought to have democratic institutions as a competitive advantage (67%). To achieve objective two, the research instruments were designed for respondents to identify implementation challenges of BRICS interventions in SA. It was established that respondents thought that BRICS activities could be improved by “Collaborative synergies” (84%); “Financial resources provision” (81%); and a “Favourable fiscal policy” (75%). To achieve objective three, the perceptions of responding companies’ representatives and insights provided by government officials proved to be instrumental. The highest levels of disagreement were on whether responding companies should prioritise secondary mineral recycling; co-operate on mining projects or embark on mining exchange programmes. All participants viewed beneficiation as important, although the views on how to embrace it differed significantly. To achieve objective four, “SABRICMB” model, which is proposed to help SA achieve synergies with BRICS on mineral beneficiation was developed.
In summary, it was established that the current beneficiation policy provides insufficient guidance on mineral beneficiation promotion, job creation initiatives and economic growth. Efforts should be made for further consultation and public-private partnerships on mineral beneficiation in particular, and on the mining charter in general, in order to harness BRICS promotion of both downstream and upstream beneficiations in SA on a gradual basis.
While this study contributes to the bulk of knowledge on beneficiation, and attempts to bridge the lacunae in existing research, it also provides important pointers for a future research agenda.
Submitted in the fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Management Sciences: Business Administration, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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