Cape Town – Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane applied more pressure on the mining industry on Wednesday when he gazetted a proposal to restrict new mining prospecting and mining rights and the renewal of such rights.
In the government gazette, Zwane said he invites representations from relevant stakeholders in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) on the proposals.
Zwane said his intention to restrict such rights is based on “having regard to the national interest and the need to promote the sustainable development of the nation’s mineral resources”.
The intended restriction, however, will not apply to applications for prospecting and mining rights that were received and accepted before the publication date of July 19.
This is subject to the condition that such applications, if granted, shall not immediately subject the mining right holder to the requirements of the third Mining Charter.
Zwane said representations must be made by no later than August 4 2017.
The mines minister’s latest move comes as the mining industry is still grappling to come to terms with onerous new targets set in the third revision of the Mining Charter.
Although the implementation of the new provisions have been halted pending judgment in an urgent interdict that the Chamber of Mines brought to suspend the Charter, commentators close the process are of the view that a legal battle will ensue, which will harm the fragile sector even further.
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