On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. vol.110 n.8 Johannesburg Aug. 2010
N.J. Roodt; M. Van Der Want; C. Picas
Mine dumps created in terms of the pre-MPRDA regime (old order mine dumps) are currently not regulated by the MPRDA, and the common law owners of such dumps are free to process them without the need to obtain the relevant rights. The MPRDA Amendment Act purports to change this position. However, the wording of the Amendment Act raises a number of problems which render the post-amendment position at best unclear and at worst absurd and unworkable. The primary concern with the Amendment Act is that, on one interpretation, material placed on the same dump at different times may be treated differently at law. Thus, parts of a dump may be subject to one person's right while others may be subject to another's right. Moreover, case law has generally regarded mine dumps as movable property and, by extending the MPRDA to apply to all mine dumps, the Legislature is extending the ambit of the Act to cover movable property, a scenario not contemplated by the wording of the Act (even after its amendment) in relation to applications for rights. The better interpretation of the amendments, which are not yet in force, is that they will not apply retrospectively to old order mine dumps.
Keywords: Mine dumps, tailings, amendment, conversion, old order, new order, residue stockpile, and residue deposit
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