Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. FILE PHOTO: ANA

Johannesburg - The South African mining industry said on Friday that it would study the draft Mining Charter and comment fully in due course after consulting its members in order to formulate a comprehensive view.

The Minerals Council South Africa, previously the Chamber of Mines, said that it was opposed to 10 percent free carry requirement to be shared between communities and previously disadvantaged employees for new mineral rights.

South African Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe, said he intended to publish the draft Mining Charter on Friday for public comment before it was finalised and gazetted. This followed weeks of nationwide engagements with stakeholders and social partners. 

"The Minerals Council notes the areas of consensus achieved in what has not been an easy task undertaken by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR)," it said in a statement.

"As previously explained, the industry does not favour a requirement of 10 percent 'free carry' on new mining rights as part of the proposed 30 percent BEE equity ownership target, as it would render uneconomic a significant proportion of potential new projects, and would undermine and constrain any prospects for growth in the sector and indeed the economy as a whole."

The Mining Charter was a thorny issue during the tenure of Mantashe's predecessor, Mosebenzi Zwane, setting him on a collision course with the mining industry. The industry decided to take the charter to court for review.

The Minerals Council said that it will continue to participate fully in the engagement processes led by the DMR, and looks forward to the planned summit where it anticipates meaningful discussions will take place.

African News Agency/ANA