Pretoria - Public comments into the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill (MPRDA) 2013 will start on Wednesday.
The bill was approved by Cabinet in late May, with the hope that it will address some of the loopholes in legislation identified in a number of court judgements.
The Department of Mineral Resources said the draft Bill will, among other things, regulate how mining licenses are awarded.
New changes are designed to align the bill with laws that are aimed at protecting the environment, and iron out ambiguities in the bill's previous version.
The draft bill calls for a new definition on beneficiation to be inserted into the Act, increase social development as a spin-off from mining and integrate administrative processes relating to mining rights.
The proposed legislation also seeks the establishment of regional mining development and environmental committees.
However, the new bill has been strongly criticised by industry experts and civil society organisations, who say it ignores the rights and voices of mining communities. - SAnews.gov.za