Coal at the Imbabala
mine, where the DMR has
called a halt to production
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 04 May 2011 – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says that its national executive committee has ‘serious concerns’ about the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR’s) ‘inability and lack of capacity to fully regulate the mining industry’.

The committee also said it welcomed and fully supported the new licensing regime, the online system and the administration of unallocated strategic minerals introduced by the department.
It indicated, however, that while the online system was a step in the right direction, there were problems with the implementation of regulations.

“This is clearer at Imbabala in Ermelo, where mining rights lapsed but the company is still mining. The company also converted an open cast mine to an underground operation without a permit,” said NUM.

Business Day quoted NUM general secretary Frans Baleni as saying that the trade union had ‘found there is a lot of rot in the mining industry, especially with regard to the operators.’

He said the trade union had found that there were a number of operators who were not compliant with the law “’ either mining illegally or, as is the case with Imbabala Ermelo, where they were mining underground without a permit.

The DMR last month launched the South African Mineral Resources Administration online system, which is now the only way to submit prospecting and mining rights applications.

The launch of the system also marked the end of a moratorium placed on the awarding of prospecting rights, which was put in place to allow the department to audit the prospecting rights that had been granted and iron out any irregularities in the awarding of these rights.