South Africa’s mining industry has been caught off guard by the launch of a new black ownership law package and said it would go to court to force the government to renegotiate its terms.

In June, the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) promulgated a new version of the Mining Charter that differed substantially from its previous version. The charter, since it was introduced in 2002, has provided rules for black participation within the mining sector. However, previous versions have always been drawn up by consensus between government officials and the industry. This time almost no consultation took place, the Chamber of Mines said, which represents around 90% of the industry. The chamber will seek an immediate interdict against the charter.

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