Across Africa the major benefits of the mining industry are being highlighted and even though African countries aren’t directly responsible for most of the initial high costs, when returns of great volumes start rising Africa gains tremendously. At last week’s Mining Indaba an important and highly relevant topic of discussion was resource nationalism. Presentations by mining ministers at the Indaba presented remarkable mineral deposits, details of mining processes, infrastructure tactics and other information aimed at tempting investors to their borders.
It was brought to all of the attendees’ attention that the scenario of producers and consumers both located within countries of Africa, was no longer a reality. Now we deal with the trend of producers in one country and consumers in another, resulting in the empowerment of producers and in turn seeing an increase of assertive demands.
There is no doubt in my mind that foreign investment has evidently contributed to the following important advances: the decrease of new-born and parental mortality rates in Africa, the decrease of malaria and AIDS occurrence, and the raised portions of children attending school.
Long term participants and investors are seemingly uncertain regarding the rapid growing list of requirements that mining companies have to adhere to. Countries in Africa that present themselves as too demanding, problematic and impulsive will see a decrease in appeals from direct foreign investment. 2 of the world’s largest mines in Guinea— Vale and BHP Billiton — are currently revising their participation in the iron -ore mine at Simandou. Concerns about unclear regulations, shifting goalposts and political uncertainty in an era of cooling iron-ore prices seem to be severely threatening the life of these operations.
Investors are taking developmental plans into their own hands they don’t have the time for delays due to impacts relating to governments, donors and others. Resource based companies are enabling major infrastructure developments within Zambia, Angola and Mozambique.