The Department of Mineral Resources will hold talks with mining companies and the Department of Trade and Industry about the requirements for broad-based black economic empowerment levels, something Kumba Iron Ore CEO Chris Griffith flags as a problem.
Addressing doubts expressed at the two-day Mining Lekgotla about mining companies’ claims of black ownership and empowerment, Mr Griffith said there had to be one standard set of numbers which both sides agreed was fair.
"The issue of mining companies and the department (Department of Mineral Resources) disagreeing on the transformation statistics has been coming for some time now. It creates distrust in the mining industry and it’s something we need to tackle," Mr Griffith said on Wednesday.
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Mining groups report their empowerment data to the Department of Mineral Resources which verifies the information.
"Progress really does need to be made in making sure we can come up with one standard set of numbers that the industry and the department agree on. These will then be the reflection and rate of transformation of the mining industry," Mr Griffith said.
The Chamber of Mines said in Parliament last year that not one of its members was below 15% ownership levels and some were at 50%, giving a weighted average of 28%, well above the 26% level required in 2014.
The department said the figure is lower than that and that by 2009 just 9% had been reached against a target of 15%.
Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said her department would talk to mining companies to reach "a common understanding" and was talking to the Department of Trade and Industry about the broad-based black economic empowerment codes it had introduced compared to the empowerment requirements in the Mining Charter.