Johannesburg - Redrafted laws failed to address the concerns of mining houses that the government would force them to sell part of their output at below market prices, the Chamber of Mines said yesterday.
Legislators are processing planned amendments to the 2002 Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, which seek to ensure local firms derive greater benefit from the mineral wealth.
The Department of Mineral Resources released a new draft of the law on Tuesday, after companies including Anglo American complained that the proposals would hurt their business and discourage investment in mining operations.
“It definitely is a better piece of legislation,” Anton van Achterbergh, the head of the Chamber of Mines’ legal department, said on Tuesday. “However, there are some very important areas in which our concerns have not been addressed. The major one is beneficiation and all the issues surrounding that. It seems to be that the department is intent on some discounted pricing” to encourage local processing, or beneficiation.
The revised law proposes giving the mineral resources minister the right “to designate any mineral, mineral products or form of petroleum for local beneficiation”, and decide what percentage must be made available to processors after taking into account “national developmental imperatives”.
It will also require companies to get written permission from the minister to export designated minerals.
“One of the key areas of concern was that the extractive industry has no say [at all], that these volume and price determinations will be pushed down their throat and they will just have to live with them,” Mosa Mabuza, the deputy director-general at the Mineral Resources Department, told MPs yesterday. – Bloomberg