The Minerals Council South Africa has acknowledged the publication of the Mining Charter in the government gazette. PHOTO: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The Minerals Council South Africa has acknowledged the publication of the Mining Charter in the government gazette on Thursday afternoon, but said that it cannot comment on its content for now until it has studied the document in detail and consulted with its members. 

"The Minerals Council is not in a position to comment on the document at this stage. It will need time to study its content in detail, and to consult with its members," the Council said in a statement. 

"The Minerals Council acknowledges [Mineral Resources] Minister [Gwede] Mantashe's engaging approach in his interactions with the industry in the development of the Charter, and that he and his team have had a difficult task balancing the inputs from the various stakeholders."

Mantashe on Thursday presented a revamped Mining Charter with a raft of legislative changes including prescriptions for black ownership, aimed at improving the South African industry to better the lives of workers, junior miners, small suppliers and mining communities. 

Under this latest version of mining regulations being gazetted on Thursday, Mantashe said existing mining right holders who achieved a minimum of 26 percent black ownership in their ventures were recognised as compliant for the duration of the right, but not the life of mine. 

"The right holder will be expected to increase their minimum BBBEE (broad-based black economic empowerment) shareholding to 30 percent within five years," Mantashe said. 

"A new Mining right granted after the coming into effect of the Mining Charter 2018 must have a minimum of 30 percent applicable for the duration of the Mining right."

Mantashe said the Charter was not perfect and would not make all stakeholders happy, but was a consensus that everyone could live with after intensive engagements with mining companies, financial institutions, the legal fraternity, investors, mining communities and the cabinet.

He also confirmed that he had submitted a formal request to the speaker of Parliament to withdraw the controversial Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill, meaning the current Act remains applicable while a separate regime for oil and gas is being developed. 

- African News Agency (ANA)