The Influence of Black Economically Empowered (BEE) Companies from Coal Exploration and Coal Exploitation in South Africa
Grant van Heerden
SRK Consulting (SA) (Pty) Ltd, Johannesburg, South Africa
The environment of coal exploration and exploitation has changed radically since the implementation of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) of 2002. The emergence of a considerable number of Junior Miners, who must reflect BEE status, do not have the in-house technical skills, like most of the established corporate (Anglo, BECSA, Exxaro) miners. This has put tremendous pressure on consultants to provide necessary skills. In fact, “poaching” of technical staff from consulting firms to junior miners is almost commonplace. The MPRDA requires that Prospecting and Mining Right holders undertake certain activities within specific time-frames in order for the Right to remain in force. The number of emerging junior miners with recently granted prospecting rights, who are all trying to operate within the “:use it or lose it” spirit of the MPRDA, have locked-in a significant proportion of the available exploration drilling capacity of contract drillers as well as the limited capacity of independent consultants to ensure as smooth as possible prospecting drilling campaigns. Coal has always been seen to be the “easier” commodity to exploit due to the relatively simple and shallow geology of the southern African coal deposits, and this has encouraged significant BEE participation in the local industry.
AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa 2008 © AAPG Search and Discovery