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The new draft Mining Charter, gazetted last week by Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, makes a number of changes relating to mine community development. This is particularly important because of February’s high court ruling that mining-affected communities must be included in charter negotiations. But the changes leave so many questions unanswered it is unclear whether they are a positive development for host communities. The requirement that 8% of the 30% black economic empowerment shareholding for new mining rights must be distributed to host communities in the form of a community trust remains, as does the requirement that a further 8% shareholding be distributed to employees. Both of these distributions must take place within five years of a mining right being granted. It is not clear how these 8% distributions will be calculated, as many host community members are also employees. In addition, there is no explanation of how community trusts are to be managed as the previ...

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