Risk Management in the South African Mining Sector

Winkler, Kerstin Laura Marianne
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Mining is crucial to the South African economy and contributes approximately six percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The mining industry is also South Africa’s biggest employer. The spectrum of risks facing the Mining Industry is diverse, from safety and operational to strategy and business risk. The research aims to understand the level of the mining companies’ maturity of implementation of an enterprise-wide risk management programme, and identifying key challenges that the industry has faced in embedding enterprise-wide risk management programmes. Qualitative research methodology using in-depth interviews with industry-specific risk management subject experts was used to explore their perspective on enterprise-wide risk management in the South African Mining sector. It was found that all South African Mining companies have implemented an Enterprise-wide Risk Management Programme to a certain level of maturity that can be reasonably measured along the maturity continuum. The key finding was the importance of CEO support and the drivers behind the decision to implement an ERM programme and the apparent interrelatedness of these factors to its success. Another finding is that mining companies find the balance between practical application and meeting governance requirements; customisation of the programme to the specific organisations structure and culture is key. Networking within the organisation is the core responsibility of the CRO/Risk Manager to make sure that the right conversations are occurring at the right levels of the organisation in order to keep risk top of mind.
MBA thesis - WBS
Risk management - Mining sector, Mines and mining - Risk management