South African mining industry is ‘in crisis’ – Chamber of Mines CEO

The South African Chamber of Mines CEO has attacked the rewrite of the country’s mining charter saying the industry has ‘lost confidence’ in the mining minister.

Speaking at the Paydirt 2017 Africa Downunder conference in Perth, Roger Baxter said Mosebenzi Zwane has lost the confidence of the industry following the implementation of new mining regulations ‘designed to benefit a select few at the expense of the country’.

Baxter added that business confidence in South Africa is at its lowest levels in more than three decades, with the mining industry in crisis.

“There are a number of critical factors impacting South Africa’s investment attractiveness… including the fact the mining industry has lost confidence in the DMR [Department for Mineral Resources] minister,” Baxter said.

Baxter highlighted key areas affecting South Africa’s investment attractiveness particularly the uncertainty around the mining industry based on the new regulations in the mining charter.

“Significant corruption allegations have not been cleared and the proposed judicial commission of enquiry into state capture has not been established.

“The industry does not believe that the approaches adopted by the DMR are serving the national interest of the country. The negative impacts of the unilaterally imposed RMC17 [Redrafted Mining Charter 2017], the proposed s49 rights moratorium, the non-resolution of the charter ownership issues, imposition of inappropriate s54 safety stoppages, etc, are a major crisis for the sector.

“In essence, there is a freeze on investment (it is extremely difficult to get an investment committee to approve any new Greenfields project in RSA).

“The industry is of the firm view that the DMR’s RMC17 is designed to benefit a select few at the expense of the whole country.”

Baxter’s comments come after Zwane, who also presented at the conference, said the new mining charter had been signed into law and would come into force.