The report on the Quarrying sector describes the current market, outlines developments within the sector and focuses on factors influencing the success of the local industry. The report also profiles 14 South African-based companies, ranging from Denron Quarries (Pty) Ltd in the Western Cape, which employs 34 people at its three aggregates quarries, to major player Afrisam (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, which operates six cement production facilities, nine cement depots, 16 quarries and aggregate operations, 40 readymix concrete plants and one slagment plant.
The South African Market
This report focuses on the quarrying sector which includes stone, clay and sandpit quarrying and the quarrying of dimension stone and limestone. The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) lists 701 quarrying operations, 580 of which are operations involved in the quarrying of aggregates and natural sand. The aggregate and sand sector employs approximately 7,500 people and the most recent figures available from the DMR and the Chamber of Mines set the 2012 value of aggregate and sand production of 53 million tons at R4.5bn.
The Aggregates and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (ASPASA) classes quarrying as surface mining or open-pit activity, which falls under the industrial minerals sub-section of the mining sector. Thus the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has oversight over this sector and prescribes the licensing and permit regime under which a quarry can be legally operated. However, a recent investigation by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) concludes in a draft interpretation note presented to parliament that quarrying is not a mining activity, but a manufacturing process. This will have important implications for the sector which is currently struggling in a low growth environment where the roll-out of government’s R847bn strategic infrastructure spend has been slow, thus impacting negatively on demand for quarry outputs.