Getting our Act together
The recent tabling before Parliament of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act completes a process of minerals and mining policy reformulation that has taken almost a decade to come to fruition.
It has involved consultation with role players in South Africa’s minerals industry. The state’s involvement in the industry is of a complementary and supportive nature.
It seeks to provide and maintain:
- A legal and fiscal environment that will allow rational exploration, mining, beneficiation and marketing of the country’s minerals; and
- An efficient physical infrastructure including road, rail and airlinks, as well as harbour facilities, communications and health services and power and water suppliers.
The Act, under which the Broad-Based Socio-Economic Empowerment Charter for the South African mining industry was developed, was promulgated in May 2004.
It replaces the Minerals Act of 1991 and regulates the prospecting for and optimal exploitation, processing and utilisation of minerals, provides for safety and health in the mining industry and controls the rehabilitation of land disturbed by exploration and mining.
The process of getting the Bill through Parliament, which has taken about five years to negotiate and draft, is now almost complete.