South Africa’s mines minister sees new mining charter by May

A worker walks in an underground mine, part of the Grasberg copper and gold mine operated by an Indonesian subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan Inc, near Timika, Papua province February 14, 2015 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Picture taken February 14. REUTERS/M Agung Rajasa/Antara Foto (INDONESIA - Tags: BUSINESS COMMODITIES) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA - RTR4PQOP

South Africa’s mines minister Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday he remained confident that the government and mining firms would finalize the third version of an industry charter that lays out requirements for black ownership levels.

Mantashe made the remarks in a speech at a platinum mining conference in Johannesburg.

The charter proposed by Mantashe’s predecessor was opposed by the industry, which for years has been grappling with depressed prices and labor unrest.