SOUTH AFRICA RANKS AS THE 53rd most attractive country for mining exploration behind locales such as Wyoming, Burkina Faso, and even the mosquito-ridden climes of Saskatchewan.
It seems miners will tolerate blood-suckers more easily than civil strife, despotism and war, which is quite right. That’s why Zimbabwe is, again, bottom ranking, with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) pushing hard for the wooden spoon. Venezuela is the second least attractive destination, proving again that capitalism and socialism don’t mix. These are some of the findings of the 2006/2007 Fraser Institute report that has, since 1997, produced a scorecard for governments showing how attractive their policies are from the point of view of the exploration manager. What’s interesting is how badly Africa fared.
Only Zambia and the DRC did better this year than last. Mali, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Tanzania and SA all became less attractive to exploration managers. In the case of SA, it sank from 37th most attractive country in which to invest in the 2005/6 report. But why?
The report asks exploration managers to rank 65 countries on current mineral potential in the context of the risk of native land claims, regulatory duplication and administration, taxation, inconsistent lawmaking etc.
Current regulations, probably those enshrined in SA’s mining charter, are deemed to be highly unattractive. However, the Fraser Institute report says SA ranks 13th in the room-for-improvement category. Russia tops this ranking; the DRC is fourth.