Roger Baxter.     Picture: BUSINESS DAY
Roger Baxter. Picture: BUSINESS DAY

The Chamber of Mines spurned a last-minute invitation from the Department of Mineral Resources to a meeting an hour ahead of a media briefing on the Mining Charter.

In an unusually blunt statement, the chamber, whose members mine 90% of South Africa’s annual mineral value, said its office bearers would "not be co-opted into participating in an attempt by the DMR to provide any support into what we believe has been a flawed process by the DMR".

It called the timing of the meeting "highly suspicious".

The third iteration of the Mining Charter, a policy document which stipulates the transformation requirements for mining companies to secure rights, has been a point of friction for more than a year since a draft was released for discussion in April 2016.

Chamber CEO Roger Baxter has repeatedly said the chamber had relatively little input in the formulation of this charter that placed more onerous conditions on an already beleaguered local mining industry. In the previous two versions there were extensive consultations with the industry and labour.

Mines minister Mosebenzi Zwane said in May that the department had initially intended to have the process finalised in March 2017, further consultations have been undertaken and the charter that will be gazetted "will be reflective of the careful consideration given, substantive inputs received and meaningful engagement with stakeholders".

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