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Chamber of Mines challenges mining rights freeze in court

The chamber's Charmane Russel says they want the notice set aside for a number of reasons.

FILE: Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - The Chamber of Mines has lodged an urgent court application to prevent the Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane from suspending the issuance of new mining and prospecting rights, the industry body said on Tuesday.

The Chamber's Charmane Russel says they want the notice set aside for a number of reasons.

“This relates to suspension relating to prospecting mining rights applications which the minister had proposed putting in place until the mining charter issue had been heard.”

"The industry has no option but to proceed with court action to ensure that the minister acts within the law," the chamber said in a statement. It said the case will be heard on 4 August.

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said last week he intended to suspend the granting of applications for prospecting and mining rights pending a court case to review a new charter that increased the required level of ownership of mining firms by black people.