The Broad-Based Socio-Economic Empowerment Charter for the Mining and Minerals Industry 2018, better known as Mining Charter 3, came into force on Friday, March 1 – almost three years after the publication of the first draft.
This brought to a close more than nearly three years of uncertainty and speculation regarding the nature and content of the final version of South Africa’s third official Mining Charter.
However, in a statement on Monday, Herbert Smith Freehills partner and co-chairperson Peter Leon said that despite the extensive public participation and negotiation process which preceded the publication of the Charter, there are a number of provisions that are a cause for concern.
According to him, this includes “onerous” re-empowerment obligations for the renewal and transfer of existing mining rights.
He also said the black economic empowerment shareholding top-up requirements for pending applications was troubling.
Moreover, he highlighted the absence of provisions for the amendment of existing mining rights.
Finally, he pointed to “the Minister’s seemingly unlimited ability to review and revise the obligations imposed under the charter from time to time” as another cause for concern.