The trend of resource-rich countries to develop beneficiation strategies stems from their historical position as primary resource providers. Beneficiation is seen as a key intervention towards economic transformation and more resilient economies. However, there is no template of how beneficiation can work, but rather a set of policy options that rely on a certain number of prerequisites, such as upstream and horizontal linkages.
While there are potential benefits to increased value addition in a country’s minerals sector, there are also potential risks. These costs and benefits will vary for different minerals. Hence, beneficiation deliberations need to consider a resource’s unique value chain, not least due to varying connections to different other sectors within a country’s economy. Analysis will be required to inform government policy on the point to which beneficiation should be supported, as in certain circumstances it might be more profitable not to require beneficiation. Moreover, a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis, specific to each mineral and undertaken in consultation with industry, is a crucial condition before formulating beneficiation policies.