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There are ample grounds on which to challenge the Mining Charter, but the Chamber of Mines’ intended legal attempt at securing a declaratory order on the "once-empowered, always-empowered" principle may have been overtaken by its latest iteration, lawyers say. That came as ratings agency Moody’s warned the document would be credit negative for some of SA’s largest mining companies. Lawyers agree the third iteration of the charter is a shambolic document that could be contested on many legal fronts, but will meanwhile leave the industry in a stalemate where no deals will be done because of confusion and onerous conditions inherent in it. The document, which came into effect last Thursday, outlines the obligations on mining companies to qualify for mining and prospecting rights. The document cut JSE-listed mining stocks’ market capitalisation by R51bn last Thursday. Moody’s joined fellow ratings agency Fitch in warning of the negative consequences of the charter. Not only would the re...

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