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The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, has published an amendment to the Financial Provisioning Regulations for prospecting, exploration, mining or production operations in Government Gazette No. 41584 (Notice 452) for implementation.

Amendment to Financial Provisioning Regulations The Regulations were originally published in November 2015 in line with the “One Environmental System”, under which all environmental matters pertaining to mining are to be regulated in terms of environmental legislation. These principles order the arrangements related to making financial provision for costs associated with the remediation and rehabilitation of environmental impacts associated with mining activities.

The Minister initially published proposed amendments late last year, including an extension of time to the oil and gas industry to comply with the Regulations for public comment. The Minister has now gazetted this extension for implementation.

This will allow the holders of existing offshore exploration and production right holders, who applied for such rights prior to 20 November 2015, regardless of when the right was obtained, an extension until February 2024 to comply with the NEMA Financial Provision Regulations. “The extension is necessary as the activities of the sector are both capital and risk-intensive and the industry will require more time to make the necessary adjustments to their current financial provisioning arrangements,” the ministry said in a statement.

“This extension has the effect that the financial provisioning arrangements for the offshore oil and gas industry with rights applied for under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Act prior to 20 November 2015, will continue to be managed under the existing financial provision arrangements, made under that Act, until February 2024.”

Comments received on the proposed amendments to the Regulations that were published in November 2017 are still under consideration, according to the ministry, which said that further amendments may need to be published for another round of consultation in the near future to deal with other matters of implementation raised by the industry, as well as other governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. Until further amendments are effected, the 2015 NEMA Financial Provisioning Regulations are in place and regulate the mining industry.

Image credit:  https://www.environment.gov.za/aboutus/ministry

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