Johannesburg - South African miners will explore all options, including legal challenges, to oppose the country’s planned Mining Charter if the government implements new levies and black-ownership targets as proposed.
The Chamber of Mines, which represents companies including Anglo American and Glencore, wants the Department of Mineral Resources to reconsider the planned regulations, which could be implemented as soon as next month.
Black-ownership rules and extra royalties could deter investment in the industry while targets on local procurement and employing more black South Africans may not be achievable, Roger Baxter, the chamber’s chief executive officer, told reporters in Johannesburg on Wednesday. Since a draft charter was published in April, there has been “no meaningful engagement” between the chamber and the government, he said.
“Constructive engagement has been our traditional route but we’re not going to take this particular issue lying down,” Baxter said. “We’re concerned we’re being set up in this area to fail.”
The government is attempting to introduce policies that will speed up a fairer distribution of benefits from the nation’s mineral wealth, which was skewed towards the white minority under apartheid. They include mines being 26 percent owned by black investors even if they subsequently sell their stake, and increasing procurement from local black-owned companies to as much as 70 percent.