AMENDMENTS TO THE MINERAL AND PETROLEUM RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS PUBLISHED

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AMENDMENTS TO THE MINERAL AND PETROLEUM RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS PUBLISHED

Title: Interpretation Act (33 of 1957): Publication of amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Regulations for implementation
Government Gazette Notice: GN R420 in GG 43172 of 27 March 2020
Commencing date: 27 March 2020

The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy has by notice in the Government Gazette, published the Amendment Regulations to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Regulations, 2020 (“Amendment Regulations”) that amends the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Regulations (published under GN R527 in GG 26275 of 23 April 2004, as amended) (“MPRDR”). The Amendment Regulations became effective on the date of publication (27 March 2020). For a copy of the Amendment Regulations click here.

The Amendment Regulations repeal the following environmental related provisions in Chapter 2 of the MPRDA Regulations:

  • Regulations 47 – 55 contained in Part III: Environmental Regulations for Mineral Development, Petroleum Exploration and Production; and
  • Regulations 63 – 73 of Part IV: Pollution and Control of Waste Management Regulations.

The reason for the repeal of the aforementioned regulations is that the matters dealt with in these regulations have been incorporated into the NEMA and the EIA Regulations. This include amongst other:

  • Environmental Reports (i.e. Scoping Reports, Environmental Impact Assessment Reports, Environmental Management Programmes and Environmental Management Plans) must be conducted in terms of the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (“NEMA”);
  • Financial provisioning must be conducted in terms of the Financial Provisioning Regulations, 2015 and the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2014 (“EIA Regulations”).
  • Residue stockpiles and deposits must be managed according to the requirements of the NEMA and the National Environmental Management Waste Act 59 of 2008 (“NEMWA”); and
  • Environmental Performance Assessment must be conducted in terms of the NEMA and EIA Regulations.

Mine closure provisions contained in regulations 56 – 62 of the MPRDR have been retained to deal with the surviving provisions of section 43 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 (“MPRDA”). These regulations have however been amended by the Amendment Regulations to make reference to the NEMA, the EIA Regulations and the Financial Provision Regulations, 2015.

The Amendment Regulations also provides for new consultation requirements. Consultation required for prospecting right, mining right and mining permit applications and applications under the Social and Labour Plan (“SLP”) process must be conducted terms of the public participation process prescribed in the EIA Regulations promulgated in terms of section 24(5) of the NEMA.

The Amendment Regulations furthermore provides for:

  • the inclusion of a definition of “meaningful consultation”;
  • the amendment of the definition of “interested and affected persons” by including a specific list of persons who
  • may be affected by a proposed or existing prospecting or mining operation and must be consulted;
  • the amendment of Part II of the MPRDR that relates to Social and Labour Plans;
  • the inclusion of regulation 73A that relates to curtailment of mining operations affecting employment;
  • the inclusion of regulation 73B to provide for the process related to the approval of the use of land contrary to the objects of the MPRDA; and
  • amendments to the internal appeal process.

For more information please contact Minnette le Roux at Minnette@shangoni.co.za

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