Re: Black Junior Miners’ Difficulty in Receiving Assistance from CGS
28 November 2019 12:31 p.m.
Dear Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources,
On 22 January 2018, we addressed the following concern to the Chairperson of the Council for Geoscience (CGS).
Above matter refers.
We are greatly concerned that over the last two years it has been very difficult for us to get assistance from the CGS regarding access to critical geological data that may add value to our new Greenfield projects. It has now been the norm at CGS for information to be withheld from the public without any logical explanation. When we call to request key reports and data we are told by the staff that they have been instructed by senior management not to engage us on the requested data. We were even told by some staff members that the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) has expressed that the data does not belong to the public but the state. If that is what the CEO has said then he is completely incorrect in his statement because the CGS is funded by Treasury and treasury generates funds from taxpayers. Our company, as a legally compliant entity in South Africa, pays its taxes on a yearly basis and therefore is entitled to any report or data generated from the funds of tax revenues. The directors of our company, as individual taxpayers, are also entitled to the said data. The state ( in this case CGS) is the custodian of the data and it is responsible for dispersing the said data in an orderly manner to external clients where external clients will pay a legislated rand value fee to access the data. In this instant the CGS is refusing to even engage us on when they expect some of the data to be made available to external clients.
CGS’s ultimate goal is to participate in the transformation of the local mining industry by empowering aspirant junior black miners with critical data that can add value to their start up mining projects. We are of the strong view that the CGS has deviated from this very important goal because we are prevented access to very important geological data that may enable aspirant black miners to unlock value in our mining projects, transform the local mining industry and build mines that will create jobs in our surrounding communities. We appeal to the Chairman to intervene in this matter. Moral is currently very low in the black junior mining sector and we are of the view that should we not collectively try and resolve this issue internally we will then be forced to engage other concerned parties, organize ourselves as a collective and try to convince the CGS to allow us to access such data through litigation.