Chamber of Mines in court on Friday over new mining rights
The Chamber of Mines said on Thursday charged that the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) Head Office has instructed all its regional offices to stop processing new mining right or prospecting right applications submitted by mining companies after 19 July 2017.
“In essence‚ the DMR is implementing the DMR Minister’s proposed moratorium on new applications in terms of section 49 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act despite the closing date for comments on the proposal only being on 4 August 2017‚” the chamber said in a statement.
“This moratorium will effectively freeze investment‚ prevent many companies from restructuring and may lead to even more job losses in the sector.
“It flies in the face of the calls by the industry’s trade unions for the moratorium proposal to be withdrawn and in terms of the Chamber’s urgent court interdict application to have the notice and proposed moratorium stopped from being implemented and thereafter reviewed and set aside.
“This demonstrates the DMR leadership’s disregard for the crisis facing the mining sector and the negative implications that a moratorium may have on the viability of struggling mining companies and the jobs that could be lost as a direct consequence.
“At this time of crisis‚ the mining companies require the flexibility to restructure for survival.”
The chamber asked Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane to withdraw the notice and not apply any moratorium.
The Chamber’s urgent interdict application to prohibit the Minister from implementing the moratorium will be heard in the High Court on Friday‚ 4 August 2017.