http://www.bdlive.co.za/ [South Africa]
CHAMBER of Mines boss Bheki Sibiya says nobody should be under any illusions about the impact that proposed mining law amendments will have on the industry and South Africa.
Public hearings on the amendments ended this week, leaving an overwhelming sense of approaching disaster. Mr Sibiya, who in three years as CEO of the chamber has impressed with his measured, thoughtful but frank assessments of the challenges facing the industry, says this could be the biggest so far.
The crux of the amendments being pushed through by the government in the teeth of detailed submissions by the mining industry is that they will empower the minister to intervene in all sorts of issues from pricing to ownership rights.
The immediate consequence is that “quite a number” of marginal mines will close, says Mr Sibiya. Projects that are at the prospecting stage will be suspended, thousands of jobs will be lost and investors will not invest.
“Mining is long term. Once one is not so sure about one’s rights in the long term, one would rather say let’s cut our losses now. This is what investors will do.” Continue Reading →