De Beers has restarted exploring SA after a two-year hiatus as new leadership at the department of mineral resources and a fresh Mining Charter encourage the search for new diamond deposits. De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM), the local arm of Anglo American’s 85% held De Beers, is investing R30m this year as prospecting right applications are approved, said CEO Phillip Barton. DBCM has 32 prospecting permits and another 22 awaiting approval, he said in an interview at the Investing in Africa Mining Indaba. While the news is good after the onerous regulations attached to exploration permits by former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane and difficulties in securing permits from the department, there is a more basic issue that has to be addressed. Mineral rights in SA are granted according to farm boundaries on the surface. Instead of granting an exploration company a large chunk of land to explore under a single permit, companies have to apply piecemeal. In Botswana, which is ...

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