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If the Mining Charter is implemented, the already low credit ratings of South African resources groups might suffer, Moody’s warned on Wednesday morning. A previous version of this article said Moody's note implied it might cut the credit ratings of South African miners. Moody's requested a clarification saying its phrase "credit negative" does not mean it intends downgrading a rating. The credit ratings agency estimated $2.5bn (about R33bn) in equity value has been wiped out of the combined $31bn (R407bn) value of the six mining groups it rates, since Minerals Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane unveiled the new Mining Charter last Thursday. A one notch downgrade would leave only South32 above junk status. Moody’s currently rates South32 Baa1 (equivalent to BBB+ in S&P Global Ratings and Fitch’s nomenclature) with a stable outlook.

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