Lawyers involved in the mining industry are set for another bonanza following the reply of the Chamber of Mines to the proposed moratorium on mining licenses as issued by Mining Minister Mosebenzi Zwane yesterday.
The Chamber of Mines has taken legal advice following the notice by the Minister of Mineral Resources published in the Government Gazette yesterday (19 July 2017), which indicates that the notice constitutes an unlawful action for a number of reasons, including:
- the damaging impact of the proposed action on the mining sector; and
- that the Minister is acting ‘ultra vires’ or beyond his powers under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA).
The Chamber is writing to the Minister to request his immediate withdrawal of the notice, failing which the Chamber will apply for an urgent interdict to suspend and review the notice.
The Chamber concludes that the ‘effect of the notice is to pave the way for the Minister to issue a further notice to prevent the issuing of new mining and exploration rights which will have an immediate negative impact on investment in the sector’.
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