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Mining charter review to be released soon

Mineral resources
minister Susan
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 22 July 2010 – A reviewed Mining Charter is expected to be released by the South African government during August or September this year, says legal firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr.

Miningmx reports that this follows last month’s signing of a Stakeholders’ Declaration on Strategy for the Sustainable Growth and Meaningful Transformation of South Africa’s Mining Industry. The declaration seeks to position the mining industry along a new trajectory of growth and transformation, as well as to improve its international competitiveness.

“It is anticipated that the declaration will form the framework against which the Mining Charter will be reviewed and amended,” said Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr corporate and commercial director and mining expert Allan Reid.

The charter, signed in 2004, required mining companies operating in South Africa to transfer 15% of their assets to black investors by 2009 and 26% by 2014. But the mid-term review revealed that the bulk of the industry had failed to meet the initial 15% target, with only 9% ownership of the sector reportedly achieved.

The South African government has been clear in that it believes that transformation is vital to the future competitiveness of the sector.

South Africa’s reputation as an investment destination with sound mineral policy and regulatory frameworks has been steadily deteriorating over the past number of years, reports Miningmx.

As a result, investment capital has, to an ever increasing degree, been seeking alternative mineral projects in other parts of Africa and elsewhere.

Mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu has expressed her concerns over South Africa’s fall in global rankings, saying it was the government’s aim to restore and further enhance the country’s reputation as an investment destination.
The Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies recently indicated that South Africa had dropped from its global ranking of 27th out of 47 countries in the 2002/2003 survey to 61st out of 72 countries in the 2009/2010 survey. This is despite South Africa being identified as having the largest in-situ mineral deposits, estimated to be valued at US$2.5 trillion (R18.75 trillion).

"I am mindful that the results of the survey have a profound influence on investment decisions globally," said Shabangu at the signing of the declaration.