The Chamber of Mines has welcomed the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill that was approved by the National Assembly in Parliament on 12 March 2014.

“The Chamber believes that significant progress has been made in addressing the mining industry’s concerns with the first draft of the Bill that was published on 27 December 2012,” it said in a statement. “Significant progress has been made in finding common ground on key areas of concern, with a focus on improving regulatory certainty, promoting investment and transformation and helping the mining sector to enhance its contribution to the National Development Plan.”

Despite the considerable speculation regarding the amendment to section 26 on beneficiation, the Chamber supports the government’s drive to promote greater beneficiation in South Africa. It also supports the Minister’s prerogative to designate a mineral as strategic in support of the beneficiation objective, which will be done in consultation with the related mining companies.

“It is the Chamber’s firm view that through collaborative problem solving partnerships between the key stakeholders the policy, regulatory and operating environment can continue to be improved, which can spur investment and growth in the mining sector for the benefit of the country as envisaged in the NDP. This is because mining and minerals matter for the growth, development and transformation of South Africa.,” the statement said.

Anglo American has also said it is encouraged that previous areas of concern have been substantially addressed in the MPRDA amendment bill, with executive director Khanyisile Kweyama saying, “We would like to express our appreciation for the opportunity to engage with the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources, which provided a forum for constructive engagement amongst various stakeholders.”

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