JOHANNESBURG- Minerals Council South Africa said on Wednesday it welcomed the recently gazetted revamped mining charter which aims to boost black ownership in the sector and broadly supported its intentions and content, but remained concerned about some key issues.
Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe last week presented the document, which gives existing mining right holders who currently comply with a stipulation of a minimum 26 percent black ownership in their ventures five years to raise this to 30 percent.
He said new mining rights granted after the coming into effect of the latest charter must immediately have a minimum of 30 percent for the duration of the right.
On Wednesday the Minerals Council said the latest charter, which replaces one implemented last year by Mantashe's predecessor but scrapped after an industry outcry, was the "product of substantial engagement between key stakeholders and is a compromise that reflects different difficult choices that have been made".
"This Charter provides a better balance between the mutually reinforcing concepts of promoting competitiveness and transformation," it said.
"The Minerals Council considers this charter to represent a policy instrument that provides a clear and durable framework for securing a transformed industry with meaningful broad-based economic empowerment within which the critical goals of growth and competitiveness can realistically be achieved."
The industry body, which represents South Africa's mining companies, however said it was concerned about some key issues, specifically regarding the limited applicability of continuing consequences of past transactions on disposal of black economic empowerment (BEE) shareholding and the treatment of renewals of mining rights as new rights, among others.
"The Minerals Council will engage Minister Mantashe on these unresolved issues," it said.
"It is also hoped that greater clarity and certainty will be obtained in the coming weeks, as the guidelines for implementation are developed."
- African News Agency (ANA)