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More transparency was needed from SA’s mining industry and the government, including asking what happened to the 8,000 or so mining permits that were granted about seven years ago and did not result in a single new project, Joburg Indaba chairman Bernard Swanepoel said on Thursday. Under the "use it or lose it" principles of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, holders of prospecting or mining permits must be active or lose their permits, in so doing opening up opportunities for others. Warren Beech, a partner at attorneys Hogan Lovells, said applicants for mining or prospecting rights had to meet various requirements, including technical and financial. Prospecting had to begin within 120 days of the right being granted. If it did not, the right could be suspended or revoked. Prospecting rights are granted for five years and can be extended for another three. To obtain a mining right, more extensive requirements had to be met and mining had to begin within a year of ...

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