There is a renewed need for a constructive dialogue between government, society and industry to develop common interest and trust, the Chamber of Mines told MPs on Wednesday.

It emphasised that consultation on legislation and regulatory matters was of paramount importance, and that mineral policy should be beyond the cycles of political office.

"Predictable, stable and competitive policy leads to investment — without which inclusive growth is impossible," the chamber said in a presentation to Parliament’s mineral resources committee.

"Stable policy and a fair regulatory environment remain key drivers for attractiveness and sustainability of the industry. A stable environment will attract foreign direct investment and provide for stable revenue for the government and wealth for the nation," the chamber said.

The chamber’s comments come amid ongoing confusion over the future of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill and uncertainty over the contents over the long-awaited Mining Charter, which is due to be gazetted in the next few weeks.

The chamber has not been satisfied with the lack of consultation over the charter, a crucial legislative measure that will determine ownership and black economic empowerment requirements for the industry.

The chamber said the mining industry in Africa was in crisis due to a "trust deficit" between the governments, mining companies and civil society, "often caused by misperception".

The chamber also highlighted the "massive challenge" of unpaid benefits to about 3-million former employees and their dependents, which now amount to about R45bn.

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