Chamber of Mines not supporting co-applicants in Mining Charter review

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JOHANNESBURG – The Chamber of Mines said on Tuesday that it was not supporting the urgent applications at the High Court by two parties seeking leave to intervene as co-applicants in its application for a review of the controversial Mining Charter. 

The two parties are the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) and Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) on behalf of three mining community organisations – Mining Affected Communities United in Action, Women Affected by Mining United in Action, and the Mining and Environmental Justice Network of SA. 

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CALS and the LHR submitted their papers at a very late stage.  

The industry body said that the main reason for its decision to oppose these parties’ application to intervene as co-applicants was because their grounds for review were materially different from those of the Chamber.

The Chamber is challenging the implementation of the 2017 Reviewed Mining Charter which was gazetted in June, arguing that the the Charter would be harmful to the industry and the economy because of its content, as well as the vague and contradictory language employed to convey that content.

The Chamber’s application for review of the Mining Charter is scheduled to be heard by a full bench of the High Court on 13 and 14 December.

“Our assessment is that it would not be possible for counsel for the Chamber and for the respondent, the Minister of Mineral Resources, to complete argument on a wide range of highly complex issues in the two allotted court days if two entire additional cases are joined,” The Chamber said.

“Arguing those grounds would take up a great deal of the limited time available.”

The Chamber said that CALS and LHR have the legal right to apply to the court to have the minister’s reviewed Mining Charter reviewed and that it would have no objection to that at all.

The industry body also said it has publicly committed to welcoming these legal group’s participation as legitimate stakeholders in future negotiations on the development of a new Charter that, it is hoped, will follow a successful outcome of this application of the Chamber. 

The Chamber has agreed not to oppose the admission of trade union Solidarity as a friend of the court while the National Union of Mineworkers has also applied to be allowed as a friend of the court. 

Both these applications will be dealt with by the court at the commencement of the hearing of the Chamber’s review application next month.

 – African News Agency (ANA)

Source: IOL – Business News
Chamber of Mines not supporting co-applicants in Mining Charter review

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