Chamber of Mines: SA’s mining industry in crisis

Chamber of Mines CEO Roger Baxter says there are a number of critical factors impacting the country’s investment attractiveness.

Picture: AFP

PERTH - The head of the Chamber of Mines has not minced his words at an industry event in Australia, saying South African mining is in a crisis.

Roger Baxter addressed the Africa Down Under conference earlier, a day after Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane tried to reassure delegates investors have embraced the new mining charter.

The chamber’s taken the minister to court to block the implementation of the new mining charter, which gives resource firms 12 months to meet a new 30% minimum for black ownership.

“We’re not going to come here and smooth over the cracks on these issues, this is too big.”

This is the word from Chamber of Mines CEO Roger Baxter, who says there are a number of critical factors impacting the country’s investment attractiveness, including the fact that the industry has lost faith in the minister.

“We have lost confidence that this minister is the right minister to be leading the department. When the major industry association that accounts for 90% of the production of South Africa’s mining sector says that it’s a pretty serious issue.”

The minister could be seen leaving the conference venue shortly before Baxter took to the podium, despite his earlier comments that the chamber is a key stakeholder and he would be present during his presentation

“It will give us a chance, because we are here, to listen to their presentation and say hey, this we can deal with and this one," says Zwane.

The two will face each other again in court in exactly a week.