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Miners tumble as South Africa escalates black ownership rules

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Published : June 15th, 2017
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Category : Market Analysis

By Paul Burkhardt and Kevin Crowley
Bloomberg News
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Companies including Anglo American and Sibanye Gold dropped after South Africa increased the minimum black ownership requirement for local mines and set a 12-month deadline for compliance with the new rules.

The Department of Mineral Resources will raise the requirement from the current 26 percent to ensure that more proceeds from the country's natural resources flow to the black majority, Mining Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said today in Pretoria, the capital. The new minimum applies regardless of whether they have previously sold shares or assets to black investors who later divested. ...

A holder who claims a historical transaction that achieved 26 percent prior to the new Mining Charter, which Zwane presented today, “must top up to 30 percent,” regardless of whether the earlier black shareholders still hold their position, according to a statement handed to reporters.

Most mining companies reached the 26 percent level under previous versions of the charter but many of the black investors have since sold out. The Chamber of Mines, which represents mining companies, has said it's willing to fight the government in court over the issue of getting credit from earlier deals, which it says would kill investment in the industry.

"The new charter is significantly worse for the mining industry than the original draft," Peter Leon, the Africa co-chair at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, said by phone. "It's poorly considered and raises serious questions about the government's commitment to the protection of property rights." ...

... For the remainder of the report:

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