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Upcoming Mining Charter to include designation of strategic minerals – Zwane

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane says the updated Mining Charter to be gazetted next week will include the “designation of minerals” in support of government’s policy of mineral beneficiation.

Speaking in Mpumalanga, on Tuesday, at the reopening of the Highveld Steel heavy structural mill, Zwane said he expected that the designations would be resisted, but he also made an appeal for the settling of policy differences outside of the courts.

South Africa has, for some time, been considering a policy of designating certain minerals, such as iron-ore and coal, as “strategic” to support its industrialisation goals. Such designation could require such minerals to be sold domestically at a price determined by production costs, excluding transportation.

“We are definitely going to designate some minerals so that you can get them at the mining-gate price, so that we can ease your difficulties,” he told an audience that included executives from various manufacturing and steel companies, including from ArcelorMittal South Africa and Highveld Steel.

“We will get some resistance in terms of designating these minerals, but because you want them designated, and we can see what you are doing, we are going to designate them.”

Zwane promised that the charter would be “straight forward” and would outline how industry participants should work together to transform the industry and the country.

He urged aspirant miners to be prepared to work hard and not to “expect anything for free”.

“From our side, we will ensure that we bring policy certainty.”