The law regarding mining in South Africa is a vast and intricate network of legislation that works to ensure the safety of mine workers, fair employment rights, and environmental protections and to promote sustainability for mining activities.
One of the most important pieces of legislation regarding mining is the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 28 of 2002, which as of 2004 seeks to be an umbrella under which mining law can develop. Other legislative controls also include the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act, 2008 and the Mining Titles Registration Act, 1967, as well the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996. In terms of government, the Department of Mineral Resources oversees the industry – which helps to hold mining companies accountable. Before mining, a mining a company needs to apply for what is called a “mining” right issued through this department.
Additionally, there are also Mining Charters in place, which set out rules and guidelines that seek to address historical inequalities.
As you can see, this heavily regulated industry and legislatively controlled industry requires a keen legal sense to ensure that mining activity is compliant. With so many by-laws and terms, it is always best to consult with a lawyer who specialises in mining law.
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