The Chamber of Mines – that represents more than 90% of miners in South Africa the biggest mining nation on the continent – has called for the government to hurry up with amendments to the country’s mining laws and says it could go to court if it is not happy.
The South Africa government has been rewriting the Minerals Petroleum and Resources Development since December 27 2012. The amendments are on their way through the provincial assemblies and are due to go through Parliament before the end of March, according to the government.
“We believe they will be done before the end of March or Aprilish,” Roger Baxter, the CEO of the Chamber of Mines says.
“We understand that the law have to go through the Parliamentary system, but let it move quickly,” Mike Teke, the President of the Chamber of Mines said.
It is likely to make changes to the act increasing ministerial discretion and setting in stone that all mining companies must have 26% black ownership at all times.
The Chamber of Mines wants a “once empowered, always empowered ” principle that means once a mine has transferred ownership into black hands it has been deemed to have done its job regardless of any subsequent sale back into white hands.
“It is an option to go to court if we are not happy, but for now we are engaging with the government to try to find a compromise,” says Baxter.
Either way regulatory certainty could prove a shot in the arm for a South African mine that lost R38 billion last year.