Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe’s plan to scrap the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill has been strongly endorsed by those involved with the industry. The bill, which has been in the legislative process since 2013, has been stuck in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for months and has been a cause of considerable uncertainty in the mining industry. Of particular concern is a proposal empowering the minister of mineral resources to designate any mineral to be offered at discounted prices to domestic beneficiators, failing which it may not be exported without his prior consent. "It is excellent news as much as a very sensible move by Mantashe," said Herbert Smith Freehills partner and mine law expert Peter Leon. "It is also good news for the oil and gas industry, provided this can be done quickly. The committee’s decision to fast-track the bill would have been susceptible to constitutional challenge." DA mining spokesperson James Lorimer also w...

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