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South Africa: Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act of 2008 to Be Implemented

(Feb. 19, 2010) It was reported on February 18, 2010, that the 2008 Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act of South Africa, is to take effect on March 1 of this year. (Bheki Mpofu, Mining Royalties Law Takes Effect on March 1, BUSINESSDAY, Feb. 18, 2010, available at http://www.businessday.co.za/Articles/Content.aspx?id=94124.) The Act was enacted on November 17, 2008, and was initially intended to take effect on May 1, 2009. (Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act No. 28 of 2008, South African government portal, http://www.info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=92824) (last visited Feb. 18, 2010).) However, Trevor Manuel, former Finance Minister, had temporarily suspended its implementation because of the global economic downturn. (Mpofu, supra.)

The Act requires mining companies to pay royalties on gross sales of refined and unrefined mineral resources of up to 5% and 7%, respectively. (Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act, §§ 3 &4.) The Act provides an exemption for small businesses on condition of the fulfillment of certain requirements, based on the amount of gross sales for the assessment year, the amount of royalties owed for the assessment year, and residence and registration requirements. (Id., §7.)