Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The Chamber of Mines suffered a setback in its efforts to review and set aside the third iteration of the Mining Charter after it failed to block three community and environmental groups from joining its court battle against Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane and the Department of Mineral Resources.

The High Court in Pretoria ruled in favour of Mining Affected Communities United in Action, Women Affected by Mining United in Action and the Mining and Environmental Justice Network SA to intervene in the December 13 and 14 review.

"The minister of mineral resources made it clear that community networks were welcome to join the review provided that they were able to keep to the agreed timeframes. The Chamber of Mines made it equally clear that they opposed the communities’ intervention," the three groups said.

The chamber was concerned that the two days set aside to hear the complex arguments would be eroded by the addition of the community groups.

It said the Centre for Applied Legal Studies and Lawyers for Human Rights, representing the three groups, had filed their papers "at a very late stage".

The chamber said the main reason for its opposition to the parties’ application to intervene as co-applicants was that their grounds for review "are materially different from those of the chamber".