The Chamber of Mines reported on Thursday that the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has begun implementing a moratorium on all new mining licence applications and transfers before the public consultation process on the matter, proposed by mines minister Mosebenzi Zwane.
“It has come to the attention of the Chamber of Mines that the DMR head office has instructed all the DMR regional offices to stop processing any section 11, new mining right or prospecting right applications submitted by mining companies after July 19. In essence, the DMR is implementing the minister’s proposed moratorium on new applications in terms of section 49 of the MPRDA despite the closing date for comments on the proposal only being on August 4,” the chamber states.
However, Moneyweb received a response from the DMR that suggests otherwise: “No decision has been taken by the minister to implement the moratorium. The statement issued by the chamber on Thursday is therefore misinformed.”
It seems Zwane is hell-bent on instituting the moratorium despite serious opposition to it from his own party, the ANC aligned National Union of Mineworkers (Num), the industry’s largest union (Amcu) and the business body represented by the Chamber of Mines (COM).
More to follow.