South African President Jacob Zuma says mining taxes will be reviewed, a move likely to renew uncertainty in a sector hit by wildcat strikes and nationalisation threats.
"Later this year, the minister of finance will be commissioning a study of our current tax policies, to make sure that we have an appropriate revenue base to support public spending," Zuma told the opening of parliament on Thursday.
"Part of this study will evaluate the current mining royalties regime, with regard to its ability to suitably serve our people."
Zuma's announcement is the first clear indication that royalties are up for review in the mining sector and has been welcomed by the Chamber of Mines with CEO Bheki Sibiya saying that the chamber hoped to be invited to contribute to the study "to ensure that its outcomes are fully informed''.
"The mining industry is already making significant contributions in taxes and makes further contributions through royalties on super profits," Sibiya said in the statement.
The prospect of increased taxes will likely worry miners who have been hit by strikes, uncertainty and a sharp fall in global commodity prices.
In December the ANC ruled out possible nationalisation of the country's mines, but the party said the government must capture "an equitable share of mineral resources through the tax system".
South Africa is home to the world's biggest platinum miners and is Africa's top gold producer.