Delegates at the 25th Mining Indaba left Cape Town somewhat more optimistic about the state of SA than they have been in a number of years. Cyril Ramaphosa, the first sitting president to address the conference, had a packed conference hall and spillover rooms eating out of his hand. His administration picked some low-hanging fruit in the mining industry shortly after coming into power a year ago, earning him much-needed goodwill among mining companies and investors. The withdrawal of the hugely controversial Mining Charter imposed by former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane in 2017, which led the Minerals Council SA suing the government, was a big win, with the new version seeing most stakeholders getting most of what they wanted — but not everything. Leaving no party completely happy at the signing ceremony is probably the best sign of a relatively fair outcome for all.

Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe asked parliament to withdraw the long-delayed amendment...

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