The council said the Associations Leadership Forum would serve the needs of its association members, including ASPASA, the Clay Brick Association and the South African Diamond Producers Organisation (SADPO), which in turn represented a number of small miners.
SADPO chair Gert van Niekerk was elected as the forum's chairperson.
"The establishment of this forum is a significant step forward as it creates, for the first time, an official voice specifically for the smaller surface miners of South Africa, including artisanal miners, within the ambit of the Minerals Council," he said.
"We operate under unique circumstances, vastly different from those of the rest of the industry.
"The current legislative and regulatory environment is not conducive to our economic viability and our ability to maintain and create much-needed job opportunities."
Van Niekerk said the forum looked forward to working closely with the Minerals Council, department of mineral resources and energy and other stakeholders "to ensure an appropriate policy and regulatory environment for small miners".