S.Africa to disclose results of mining charter review on Tuesday

by Reuters 0

Lonmin begins its post-strike rebuilding process Indaba is a platform where leaders from the mining and resources sectors engage in discussions. PHOTOS: Getty

South Africa’s mines minister will on Tuesday disclose the government’s assessment of the mining industry’s compliance with a charter that includes targets for black ownership.

The mines ministry said in a statement on Monday that industry compliance “for the period 2004 to 2014” had been scrutinised and the results will be presented by Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi.

Failure to comply with the charter could result in permits or mining rights being revoked.

Mining companies in the world’s top platinum producer have been scrambling for years to meet the targets set out in the government’s “Mining Charter”, including one that calls for 26 per cent black ownership by 2014.

The charter is part of the ruling African National Congress’s drive to rectify the racial and economic imbalances of apartheid rule which ended two decades ago, and the government has been auditing the industry since late 2013.

Social and labour plans, training programmes and the demographic composition of boards and management teams are all part of the charter.

Ramatlhodi told Reuters in an interview last year that some of the provisions in the mining charter, adopted a decade ago, might need to be revised. He said he preferred a “better” target for black ownership stakes but gave no figure.

A changing of the goal posts could further dent already sour investor perceptions of South Africa’s mining industry, which has been beset by often violent labour unrest, soaring wage and power costs and depressed prices.

Major companies that will be expected to meet charter compliance include the world’s top platinum producers Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum and Africa’s top bullion miner AngloGold Asshanti.