Miners stand inside a mine shaft in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Mineral Resources said on Tuesday it was appealing a high court ruling favouring the "once empowered, always empowered" aspect of South Africa's mining charter, saying it had serious implications for transformation in the industry. 

The DMR said that after careful consideration, it has approached the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to appeal the judgment handed down by the high court in respect of the application for declaratory orders in relation to the original Mining Charter, 2004 and the revised Mining Charter, 2010.

"The judgment has dire implications for the economic transformation imperatives of the Constitution, the mining sector and South Africa at large. It further has the potential of extending regulatory and policy uncertainty, and sterilization of our mineral resources, with grave economic growth and employment implications," the DMR said in a statement.

"The department is concerned by the implications of the majority judgment on the attainment of the objective to sustainably transform South Africa’s mining industry by bringing in new entrants and empowering workers and communities in mining towns."

Earlier this month, the North Gauteng High Court ruled that empowerment deals did not need to be topped up once a company had reached the 26 percent black ownership level and companies could not be penalized for falling below this level.

 - African News Agency (ANA)