SA’s plan to force mining companies to give the black majority a bigger stake in the country’s mineral wealth faces a major obstacle: convincing banks to back billions of dollars of fresh deals in an industry in decline. Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said on June 15 that local mines should be at least 30% owned by black people, up from the previous requirement of 26%. The mining companies need banks to help fund transactions that transfer the stakes to black investors who often don’t have the capital to invest due to their marginalisation during white rule. Companies often use dividends or divert cash flows to pay off the debt on behalf on the black empowerment partners, which means full ownership only vests years later. "The charter will have an effect on our ability to finance the mining industry in SA," said Ursula Nobrega, a spokesperson for Investec. "We already exercise caution as to who and what projects we finance." SA is pushing to increase black ownership as i...

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