South Africa scores lower than Zambia in mineral and policy potential


UNCERTAINTY over the direction of South Africa’s mining policies is blighting prospects for the sector — and keeping the country firmly in the bottom half of the rankings of the world’s top mining destinations, says a new study released on Monday.

According to a survey by Canada-based research firm the Fraser Institute, South Africa scored lower than last year in terms of its mineral and policy potential (the policy potential index, which assesses the attractiveness of a country’s policies, assuming current regulations and land use restrictions), coming in at 53rd place behind countries such as Zambia, Namibia, Burkina Faso and Niger. It ranked higher than Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The survey of more than 700 mining executives was conducted between last October and January this year.

It comes a week after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan committed the government to finding the right balance in its mining tax regime to boost investment.

“It is disappointing that South Africa continued to drop in its rankings,” said mining law expert Peter Leon, a partner at law firm Webber Wentzel.

“It is a sign for the South African government that the regulatory environment needs to improve drastically,” he said.

On the whole, Africa’s policy potential score dropped, continuing a five-year decline, with Mali falling the most, followed by Madagascar.

Botswana, on the other hand, remained the highest-ranked jurisdiction on the continent. It was also ranked 17th overall in the world, continuing …..READ MORE ON …