As the decline in SA’s gold and platinum mining sectors continued, the best way to revive the country’s moribund mining industry was to unshackle junior exploration and mining companies to unlock the country’s mineral wealth. There was a growing chorus for junior miners to be released from obligations imposed on the sector by the Mining Charter, which were seen as onerous and crippling for small companies scraping together enough capital in a difficult market to explore for new deposits or to start small-scale mining operations, said John Bristow, a geologist and champion of the junior mining sector. There was a need to set up a junior mining chamber outside the auspices of the Chamber of Mines, which was regarded as the voice of large, established mining companies, despite its efforts to grow its junior mining membership, he said. "By developing a strong junior sector, something we’ve not had in decades, we can knock this industry back into shape. A strong junior exploration and de...

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