MRPDA review might be premature, says Orion's Smart

Orion Minerals CEO Erroll Smart

Orion Minerals CEO Erroll Smart

13th July 2023

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online


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Diversified metals exploration and development company Orion Minerals CEO Errol Smart has argued that a review of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) was questionable when it has never been adequately applied.

Challenging a room of legal experts during a breakaway session at the MPRDA Review Summit hosted by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), in Johannesburg, on July 13, Smart said the DMRE was so overburdened and stretched so thin in terms of skills and capacity, that it had never been able to properly implement many tenets of the MPRDA.

With that in mind, Smart said it was unclear whether certain aspects of the MPRDA actually worked because the Act had never been properly put into practice. Therefore, it might be premature and unfruitful to review certain aspects of the Act.

He noted that the new, under development mineral rights cadastre was likely to cause further problems because it, by its very nature, would be a simple binary system (yes or no) being applied to a much more complex set of mineral rights ownership challenges, which involved delays, appeals, suspensions and much more.

Smart said this could open up an array of additional disputes and a spate of litigation that would arise once the cadastre was launched, implying that the DMRE had not adequately considered this possibility and that it should prepare for the worst.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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