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South Africa’s Chamber of Mines said it will refuse to attend a last-minute meeting with the government on Thursday as the mines minister prepares to release revised regulations for the industry.
A process to review and amend South Africa’s mining charter “has been concluded” and Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane will hold a press briefing at 10 a.m. in Pretoria, the capital, on Thursday, his department said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. The Chamber of Mines, which represents the nation’s biggest operators including Anglo American Plc and Sibanye Gold Ltd., received an invitation on Wednesday afternoon for a meeting with the ministry that is scheduled for an hour before the start of the press briefing, the industry lobby said in an emailed statement.
The chamber “will not be co-opted into participating in an attempt by the department to provide any support into what we believe has been a flawed process,” it said in the statement. The ministry has “not seen fit” to engage properly with stakeholders about the content of the charter, the chamber said.
A draft version of the charter released in April 2016 said all local assets must be 26 percent black owned, irrespective of deals done to increase ownership in the past. As many black investors have since sold out of these deals, that would mean companies would have to sell additional stakes, potentially diluting existing shareholders. Zwane was proposing that the minimum level for black shareholding should be raised to 30 percent, drawing opposition from some ruling-party officials who fear it will deter investment, two people familiar with the situation said last month.
Glencore Plc, Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., South32 Ltd. and Kumba Iron Ore Ltd., which is majority owned by Anglo, would need to sell the biggest stakes if the new charter fails to give credit for previous deals, Avior Capital Markets (Pty) Ltd. said June 1.
“We’re not shy if we need to engage government in court processes,” Roger Baxter, the chamber’s chief executive officer, told reporters May 24.
South Africa is the world’s biggest platinum producer and the continent’s largest of gold and coal.Source: Bloomberg