Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. File photo
JOHANNESBURG - The draft of the revised third Mining Charter could be released on Friday, with the proposed 30percent black ownership requirement likely to remain unchanged after the recent round of consultations.

Deputy Mineral Resources Minister Godfrey Oliphant told journalists on the sidelines of the Junior Indaba in Johannesburg that the government’s planned summit on the charter would discuss substantive matters.

Oliphant said the “free carry” provision was the only sticking point remaining.

“This is the matter that is still outstanding that I know about, and I'm told it is getting resolution. We should be able to resolve the matter,” he said.

The department has been criss-crossing the country in consultations with stakeholders after the mining industry rejected the previous version of the charter, claiming that it would harm its prospects and scare investors. Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe last week said that input from the consultations would contribute to the development of the charter.

He said the department would convene a summit to allow all stakeholders to comment on the final product that came from consultations before tabling it before the cabinet.

Junior Indaba chairperson Bernard Swanepoel said the mining charter requirements were “almost impossible” to comply with for small mining companies. “Let us not hold little siblings to the high standards of teenagers,” he said.

Oliphant said the government was developing a junior miners’ fund for exploration capital for black emerging miners.

The Public Investment Corporation had agreed to make a significant contribution to the fund. “Currently there are more than 90 companies on our database, most of them requiring funding opportunities.

"This has prompted us to partner with the Industrial Development Corporation and we are in the process of establishing a 'junior miners fund' to particularly focus on providing exploration investment capital to black-owned emerging miners, considering that funding institutions are not willing to invest in that space,” said Oliphant.

- BUSINESS REPORT