12 July 2012

South Africa: 'Timid' Mining Industry Lacks Leadership, Report Says

The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy says the debate around South Africa's mining industry has been marked by a lack of leadership, with key players not taking a decisive role in steering the discussion, Business Day reports.

According to the 370-page Institute report, prepared for a three-day debate in Johannesburg this week on state intervention in mining, perceptions of SA as a mining investment destination have been damaged last month when the ANC's policy conference failed to offer clarity for one of the most critical sectors in SA's economy, says Business Day.

While the ANC ruled out nationalisation, it did propose greater state participation in the minerals sector, higher levels of beneficiation and, controversially, a 50% tax on 'super profits'.

According to Business Day, the Institute report warned that about 40% of mining stocks in SA are foreign-owned and therefore protected by 59 bilateral treaties governing the expropriation of assets held by offshore investors.

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