Miners’ Spat With South African Government Deepens Over Charter – by Kevin Crowley and Paul Burkhardt (Bloomberg News – November 17, 2016)


South African mining companies warned of “dire consequences” for the industry if a revised Mining Charter is implemented next month as planned, deepening a long-running spat with the government.

Proposed new taxes on company revenue to fund a Mining Transformation and Development Agency would place additional burdens on producers that lost a combined 37 billion rand ($2.6 billion) last year, the Chamber of Mines said Thursday in an e-mailed statement.

Anglo American Plc and Glencore Plc are among members of the lobby group, which said it was consulted only briefly and is concerned about what may be in the new charter.

Targets in the document may be ill-considered or unachievable, said Roger Baxter, the group’s chief executive officer. “Its implementation in its current form will have dire consequences for the mining industry and the entire South African economy at a time when both are facing significant challenges,” he said in the statement.

Mining accounted for about 8 percent of South Africa’s economy in 2015 and about half of the country’s exports, employing some 462,000 people, according to industry figures. The government wants to introduce policies that will speed a fairer distribution of benefits from the nation’s mineral wealth, skewed toward the white minority under apartheid, which ended 22 years ago.

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