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FM Edition:

Discussions about moving the state-owned mining company, African Exploration Mining & Finance Corp (AEMFC), to the mineral resources department’s jurisdiction are still unresolved.

In late 2010, government said AEMFC would be moved because it needed different management.

AEMFC’s GM of corporate strategy and planning, Sicelo Sikakane, says he cannot explain the delay. The AEMFC bill is part of this process, but is not the reason.

The AEMFC bill was published for comment in January. It authorises AEMFC to apply for or acquire prospecting and mining rights or mines in or outside SA.

The private sector is uncomfortable with a state-owned mining company, as the state becomes referee as the grantor of mining rights — and a player.

In August, India’s Business Standard reported that AEMFC had signed a memorandum of agreement, potentially leading to a joint venture, with state-owned Coal India for metallurgical coal.

SA’s coal deposits are largely thermal, not metallurgical. Sikakane says the report is false and no memorandum has been signed. India’s ministry of mines did not respond to questions.