Expectations that the delay in the Chamber of Mines’ urgent application to suspend and review the third iteration of the Mining Charter will lead to last-minute talks between the chamber and the Department of Mineral Resources are misplaced because the distrust and hardening of positions between the two groups make that unlikely.

Last week, the chamber told the market that the department had agreed to suspend the implementation of the charter while the chamber agreed to a request from the department for a delay in the urgent interdict it had brought to give the regulator time to develop an answering affidavit. Some market commentators saw this as a sign that sanity had prevailed and the two sides would set aside their differences and begin talks about the vexing charter and thrash out a compromise and avoid a legal battle. This is highly unlikely, given the high level of tension between both sides and the intransigence shown by Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane when it comes to responding to industry’s pleas to be heard and comprehensively consulted in mapping a regulatory and policy environment.The interdict was due to be heard this week, but it appears it will now be heard only in September. Chamber CEO Roger Baxter made it clear that the industry body had come to the end of its patience with the ...

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