New Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has muddied the waters around ownership levels in mining at a time when he is setting out to create certainty after years of instability under his predecessor. At a media conference this week Mantashe did not give a clear answer on whether the government would push required black ownership of mining companies beyond the 30% that is under negotiation with the industry, labour and communities, and which has increased from the 14-year-old level of 26%. Mantashe said he wanted the new Mining Charter completed and gazetted by June and the promulgation of the amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act to be expedited. He singled out regulatory and policy certainty as a priority task for the start of his tenure. He was, however, vague when asked whether the 30% target would be nudged up. The target set out in the controversial, and now suspended, third iteration of the charter, which the Chamber of Mines took to court to ...

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