South Africa issued a draft plan that intends to compel mines to ensure that black people hold at least 26 percent of their shares even after those stakes were sold.
In the reviewed Mining Charter published for comment on Friday, the Mineral Resources Department stated that mine-right holders must ensure their empowerment credentials are “consistent with the amended 2016 Mining Charter,” which states that producers “must achieve a minimum target of 26 percent ownership per mining right to enable meaningful economic participation of black people.”
The department and the Chamber of Mines, which represents the largest producers in the country, including Anglo American Plc and Glencore Plc, have gone to court over their interpretation of the charter, with the companies saying that they have still met the rules to hold licenses even after black investors sold their stakes.
The department says companies should maintain shareholdings by non-whites above the threshold at all times.
South Africa’s push for increased black ownership of the mining industry, which accounts for almost half of the country’s exports, is part of an effort to address the legacy of apartheid that locked the black majority out of key industries.
The charter also sets targets for companies to boost the number of black people in management and improve training and benefits for communities near mines.
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