The most topical - and contentious - of the many issues concerning South Africa's mining policy at this year's Mining Indaba will be the long-awaited review of the industry's transformation charter and how it relates to the "once empowered, always empowered" principle espoused by the Chamber of Mines. The industry, backed by the chamber, insists that miners have met their empowerment obligations - no matter their success - under deals struck at the turn of the century. The government, however, wants those deals invalidated when black ownership falls below 26%. Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane is set to release the final draft at the end of March, and companies are already calling for regulatory certainty. Ajay Lalu, MD of Blacklite Consulting, said Zwane was under significant pressure to meet the deadline for the final draft - especially as it had been extended several times.The Chamber of Mines took the Department of Mineral Resources to court to demand clarity on the iss...

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