June 11, 2001
Compromises Reached on South Africa's Mineral-Rights Bill
South Africa and its large mining companies reached a compromise on Sunday on the proposed mineral-rights bill to avoid fighting for control of the country's mineral wealth and address white dominance in the industry, the Wall Street Journal reports. The agreement broke an impasse over the government's controversial bill, which the industry says threatened its security and billions of dollars in future mining investment.
The draft Minerals and Development Bill, released in December, proposed to vest mineral rights in the state and stop companies from hoarding rights by introducing a "use it or lose it" policy. The legislation will be redrafted before it's presented to the parliament later this year. The chief executive of Anglo Platinum, who had been a vocal critic of the current bill, told reporters he's "thrilled with the agreement, and the challenge now is on the drafters of the bill to ensure that the spirit of our agreement is accurately reflected in the detailed wording," the Journal reports.
- by Julia M. Duncan