Saturday, 8 February 2014

SOUTH AFRICA, MOZAMBIQUE AND GUINEA ACCUSED OF "RESOURCE NATIONALISM" IN RELATION TO iMPERIALIST MINING COMPANIES


It really is the case then that the Beijing consensus has replaced the washington consensus! Meaning that that the ever decreasing space for Africa and other regions of the GlobalSouth to deal with the imperialists on in a dynamic that could win itself advantages was rapidly narrowing in the rough period of the late 1980s through to around the start of the 2000s; that this period saw the western imposed selling off of the peoples resources into the pockets of the west, regime change and a general loss of independent, regional and mulit-lateral power in relation to london, brussels, paris, washinghton etc. What this article fails to mention, and one is not surprised that it has failed to mention it, is that China and the general world anti-imperialist movement and leadership (BRICS, SCO, ALBA, CARCOM, CELAC etc) has strategically changed our position into an ever increasing advantageous one thanks to China and others pushing the empire down. One should always keep in mind, that the nature of the western (white) imperialist system is by its very nature organised to war and defeat the drive to independence and Liberation of our Homelands, ie., they seek to smash our "resource nationalism". - Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

African Governments Tussle With Mining Firms

[source]

Governments in Africa want to extract more revenue from global mining companies, making moves that are testing ties with some of the countries' biggest investors.

Across the continent, African governments are looking at ways to raise tax rates and adjust ownership structures to bring more money into their state coffers.

But companies warn that such measures will dissuade high-risk investment and slow the creation of mining jobs. Tensions on both sides are rising as global prices fall for key metals.

"Governments want a bigger slice of the pie and they want to take that before the pie is even baked," says Mark Bristow, chief executive of Randgold Resources Ltd. which has gold mines in Congo and Mali.

Speaking at a global mining conference here this week, South Africa's minister of mineral resources, Susan Shabangu, said her government will take a free 20% stake in all future oil and gas projects. The move is "nonnegotiable," she said.

Guinea is reviewing how previous mining contracts were awarded and how the state should be involved in new mines.

Mozambique Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources Abdul Razak Noormahomed said the country plans to increase its capital-gains tax to 32%. Under the current system a variable rate is charged, depending upon how long a foreign company had held an asset before selling it. The gas and coal-rich country's Finance Ministry is reviewing other taxes it collects from companies.

"We want to be competitive," Mr. Noormahomed said. "But we also want to avoid the resource curse," referring to a theory that countries with abundant natural resources paradoxically struggle to develop their broader economies.

The prospect of higher taxes and reduced stakes in Africa's resource sector comes as commodity prices are falling and companies are cutting costs. Gold and platinum mining groups have had to shut mines and lay off workers across the continent in response to weaker prices. "We're spending more to find less," said Elaine Dorward King, a vice president at Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corp. which has operations in Ghana.

While many African countries have received investments from abroad in telecommunications and retail, many still are heavily dependent on revenue from the mining sector.

But global mining companies say the investment environment is changing. Investors have become more demanding about projects, and the outlook for commodities markets is less predictable.

So while governments are looking to enhance their participation in and receipts from their mining sectors, market reality makes such goals difficult to achieve. "Deals that were acceptable fifty years ago are no longer acceptable today," said Sheila Khama, a former chief executive of De Beers Botswana.

Some companies are trying a more conciliatory approach to lobbying against changes in mining laws.

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. one of Africa's biggest gold producers, offers presentations to government officials to show how cost-intensive it is to mine and how easily profits get hit when prices are low.

But once one country starts to push for a greater share of its resources, others usually follow, said Peter Leon, a lawyer who has represented top mining companies in their negotiations with African governments.

Resource nationalism tends to be "cyclical and responds to commodity prices," he said, "and it is contagious."

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