Randgold Resources: Bristow to Africa's Mining Countries: Must Try Harder
JERSEY, CHANNEL ISLANDS -- (Marketwired) -- 02/04/14 -- Randgold
Resources Limited (NASDAQ: GOLD) (LSE: RRS) Growing uncertainty about
the regulatory environments and tax regimes in Africa's mining
jurisdictions is discouraging international investment in these
countries' mining industries, Randgold Resources chief executive Mark
Bristow said today.
Speaking at the annual Mining Indaba, Bristow said that for Africa's
abundant mineral wealth to be brought to account, the governments of
the mineral-rich countries and the investors in and developers of
those assets should recognise that their interests are closely
aligned and work together. "In other words, what Africa needs are
partnerships for prosperity," he said.
Bristow noted that the Fraser Institute in Canada, which annually
surveys some 100 mining jurisdictions across the world to rate their
overall attractiveness to investors, or Policy Potential Index (PPI),
had recently downgraded Africa's average PPI for the fifth year
running. Survey respondents cited increasing uncertainty about
African countries' intentions regarding their mineral resources as
the key factor in diminishing investor confidence.
"The mining code reviews of the past few years and those currently
underway in a number of African countries have undoubtedly aggravated
this uncertainty by creating the impression that their governments
not only want a bigger slice of the pie, they want to take that
before the pie is even baked," he said. This, he added, was happening
at the time when the gold mining industry was severely pressured by
the drop in the gold price and was cutting back on exploration and
"Randgold's own experience has shown that, despite the stresses on
both sides, mutually beneficial partnerships between governments and
miners are still possible," Bristow said.
He cited Randgold's involvement in Cote d'Ivoire as one example of
such a partnership. Thanks to strong local relationships, the company
was able to develop its Tongon mine in the aftermath of a civil war
and then commissioned it successfully during another period of
strife. It also worked with the government in its revision of the
country's mining code and this cooperation has resulted in an
investor-friendly final draft currently being ratified.
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