South Africa Delays Return of Mineral Prospecting

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"A new online computer system meant to eradicate mismanagement in the mining industry is not yet ready. This is the second delay in the PGM-rich nation."

South Africa, with the world's largest platinum and chrome reserves, extended a moratorium on companies applying for prospecting rights as a new online computer system meant to eradicate mismanagement isn't ready.

The moratorium introduced on September 1 was extended until April 14, Bheki Khumalo, a spokesman for the Department of Mineral Resources, said today by mobile phone. The delay is the second after the department extended the deadline last month.

South Africa, which Citigroup Inc. says holds the largest mineral wealth of any nation, halted the award of rights after Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu found the system was mismanaged. In Mpumalanga, the nation's main coal-producing region, the moratorium is scheduled to end on September 30.

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