MPRDA changes on hold for ANC mines plan

[] — DRAFT versions of the amended Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) would not be finalised prior to the ANC National Policy Conference in June 2012, as the revisions would be informed by the ruling party’s resolutions on the role of the state in mining.

Mines Minister Susan Shabangu told Miningmx on Friday changes to the ANC’s policy on mining, if any, would be incorporated with the amendments.

Shabangu initiated the redrafting process in September 2010, following some high profile cases involving the double granting of rights and disputes concerning related minerals. The changes were scheduled at first to be passed by parliament this year, but Shabangu has since indicated that won’t happen before the end of 2012.

The ANC, on the insistence of its Youth League which was pushing for the nationalisation of mines, conducted a probe on possible models for the state’s involvement in mining. Its study leaders handed their findings to the party last month, but on Monday ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said he has returned the report for redrafting “to improve its presentation’.

Shabangu reiterated on Friday the amended Act would also be aligned to government’s beneficiation strategy. She said the emphasis of the strategy, as far as mining was concerned, was for the security of supply of resources.

“We won’t expect miners to take part in beneficiation,’ Shabangu said. “Their job is to mine; they don’t have the skills for activities further down the value chain.

“What we want from them is access to minerals. When we want it (minerals) it has to be available.’