On the eve of the 2017 Johannesburg Mining Indaba, the Chamber of Mines declined an invitation to the opening gala dinner — part of continuing conflict between the state and the industry over the controversial new Mining Charter. On a panel the next morning, chamber CEO Roger Baxter remarked that there was an "unpalatable item on the menu" in the form of Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. Indaba chairman Bernard Swanepoel persistently referenced the chamber’s absence. Through a digital vote, most delegates (presumably not represented by the chamber) opined that it was wrong to boycott the dinner. Zwane took the opportunity to say that he was open to talks about the charter. But the chamber argued that the "horse had bolted". When talks were necessary, Zwane had refused to include industry voices. With its input almost completely ignored in the third iteration of charter, the chamber approached the courts to have it set aside. During the indaba, the chamber emphasised that i...

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