SOUTH Africa’s largest mining companies took turns last week to take a swipe at proposed amendments to the law that governs South Africa’s mining sector, with Anglo American summarising the general dismay when it described the planned changes as "worrisome".The miners could be forgiven for this view as the proposed changes to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act do appear to go far beyond the original goal of harmonising the law that governs the mining sector in South Africa. Parliament’s mineral resources committee is due to deliberate on the proposed changes once the legislature resumes next week.Key among the proposed amendments are that the minerals resources minister has the power to declare certain minerals "strategic" for use in developing a beneficiation strategy for the country.The changes also propose making the Department of Mineral Resources the final arbiter for policing mines’ environmental obligations, as well as in the implementation of their social an...

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