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DMR Responds to Minerals Council on Mining Charter

March 28, 2019

Department of Mineral Resources

28 March 2019

The mineral resources department has announced its intention to oppose the application filed by the Minerals Council for a judicial review of the 2018 Mining Charter.

The Minerals Council recently issued a statement advising that it had filed an application for the judicial review and setting aside of certain clauses of the Mining Charter published on 27 September 2018.

The Minerals Council indicated that the decision to file an application was “very reluctantly taken by the Minerals Council Board” following “ongoing attempts to reach a compromise with the Minister on certain provisions that are problematic for the industry, and which would be detrimental to its sustainability”.

The Council added that the application was launched due to the “peremptory 180-day time bar imposed by section 7(1) of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act” in terms of judicial review and “despite the fact that the discussions are ongoing and may yet bear fruit”.

A sticking point for the Council is that the “Charter does not fully recognise the continuing consequences of previous empowerment transactions, particularly in respect of mining right renewals and transfers of these rights…”

In response, the department declared that the “current Mining Charter represents broad consensus and acceptance by stakeholders who were involved in its development and formulation. As such, it is a broadly agreed to, workable framework for transformation in the industry”.

The department points out that dialogue between the ministry and various stakeholders has continued since the gazetting of the Charter and it is “unfortunate that the Council has opted to take the Charter for judicial review”.

“Delaying the implementation of the Charter will impact negatively on the positive climate characterising mining and economic investment at present. Such delays will also halt the realisation of the much-needed benefits for the workers and the mining communities.”

The department called on the Minerals Council to return to the process of dialogue and “embrace the spirit of meaningful engagement to arrive at an amicable solution”.

According to the department, responding papers will be filed in due course.