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Zwane says he has not enforced mining rights freeze

Aug 03 2017 20:19

Cape Town – Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has not enforced enforced a freeze on new mining right or prospecting right applications, the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) said on Thursday.

The Chamber of Mines, which represents 90% of mining companies in South Africa, said in a statement on Thursday it was informed that the DMR “instructed all its regional offices to stop processing any Section 11, new mining right or prospecting right applications submitted by mining companies after July 19 2017”.

The chamber was concerned that the freeze came ahead of the closing date for comments on the proposed moratorium on new applications in terms of Section 49 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, which is on Friday.

In addition, the chamber’s urgent interdict application to prohibit Zwane from implementing the moratorium will be heard in the Pretoria high court on Friday.

However, the DMR dismissed the allegation that the freeze has been implemented.

“No decision has been taken by the minister of mineral resources to implement the moratorium,” it said in a statement on Thursday.

“The statement issued by the Chamber of Mines today is therefore misinformed.

“The notice gazetted by the Minister of Mineral Resources on July 19 2017 calls for all relevant stakeholders to make representations to the minister on the implications of and modalities surrounding the wording of the moratorium, if one is deemed necessary and appropriate after having received any and all such written submissions.

“The minister will then be in a position to make an informed decision, taking into account the needs and interests of all South Africans. The department will receive written submissions until tomorrow, August 4 2017.”

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