In a bid to provide better mining regulation and transparent functioning of government the Minerals Resources Minister of South Africa Susan Shabangu announced a new mining moratorium in Pretoria yesterday.
The new moratorium will come into effect from September 1, 2010.
Susan Shabangu said that all prospecting rights would now be issued by the head office rather than regional offices. The cases where double licenses have been granted will be resolved within the next 3 months. All information on the status of exploration and mining applications will also be made available on the department’s website.
Shabangu also mentioned that short comings had been identified in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act and amendments will soon be submitted to Parliament. The turnaround time of issuing licences for prospecting will also be reduced from six months to three. Issuing of mining licenses will also be reduced to 6 months.
The moratorium is an effort to repair the country’s mining reputation which has taken a severe beating with the demands to nationalize all mines coming from one wing of the ANC.