CAPE TOWN - South Africa's chamber of mines wants to meet with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, who was recently elected to lead the ruling ANC party, to try and break an impasse over a charter unveiled last year which mining companies believe will hurt the sector, a senior official said on Tuesday.

The industry has clashed with mines minister Mosebenzi Zwane, accusing him of negotiating in bad faith after he unveiled the charter last year, slammed by critics as poorly drafted and hard to implement.

"We have written to him, we have indicated that as soon as his diary permits, that we want to start engaging with him," the president of the chamber of mines Mxolisi Mgojo told a news conference on the sidelines of an annual conference dubbed the "mining indaba".

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"To his own admission, he himself before the December conference articulated that it is going to be imperative to get the mining industry back on its feet because it is the flywheel of the economy," Mgojo said of Ramaphosa, a former businessman whose election as leader of the African National Congress in December was well received by investors.

- African News Agency (ANA)