There is a sense of frustration among junior and small miners that they are being largely sidelined in the talks between new Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe and industry players, according to Bernard Swanepoel, chairman of the Small Business Initiative (SBI). He said the new version of the Mining Charter could be challenged in court by small mining companies if their responses were not sought and incorporated in the document that drives transformation of the South African mining industry. Mantashe has met the Chamber of Mines, unions and the South African Mining Development Association, which purportedly represents junior mining but has a tiny membership and cannot claim to represent hundreds of small mining companies. While not claiming to represent the junior mining sector, the SBI has a large number of junior mining companies that are part of the more than 100 municipal business chambers that make up the institute’s membership. After talks with a number of these compani...

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