Department blindsides miners with new charter –
The newly revised mining charter calls for a perpetual minimum of 26% black ownership per mining right. The revision of the charter was made on the premise of bringing the charter in line with the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act of 2003. The charter provides that “the only offsetting permissible under the ownership element is against the value of beneficiation, as provided for by section 26 of the MPRDA (Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act) and elaborated in the mineral beneficiation framework”. Revisions to the Mining Charter are said to have commenced without consultation with the mining sector. Chamber president Mike Teke noted in a statement that the version published on the morning of Friday, 15 April will be used as a basis for engagement between the Department of Mineral Resources and key stakeholders. While the charter speaks to the BBBEE, it is important that the mining industry’s obligation on community development is not overlooked, one aspect of which is to incorporate or make provisions for a basic income grant to facilitate the transfer of ownership of mineral wealth of the country to all the people of South Africa as provided for in the MPRDA of 2002. The Mining Charter is open for public comment until end-May.