While resource nationalism remains an issue in many African countries, several countries are experiencing retreats and have returned their focus to investment attraction, changing their laws to encourage mining investment.
This has been experienced particularly in Zambia, which has made a u-turn decision on its initial mining tax regime announced earlier this year, which included increasing levies.
This is according to EY’s Resource Nationalism update for July 2015.
Zambia is set to cut mineral royalties for underground mines to 6%, significantly than the 9% previously proposed. However, the royalty will remain at 9% for open pit mines. Royalties in Zambia were set at 9% in April this year, reversing earlier attempts to increase them to as much as 20%.
Separately, Zambia has announced plans to introduce mandated beneficiation for mineral products. Copper in particular has been targeted for further beneficiation in country.
Meanwhile, in Botswana, the government has announced that it will allow mining companies to defer payments of mineral royalties. A short-term measure, the scheme will be offered on a case-by-case basis and according to the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water, it demonstrates working collaboratively for national benefit.
Zimbabwe has removed a four-year ban on chrome ore exports and also cancelled a 20% export tax on refined chrome in a bid to promote growth in its chromite sector. In addition, electricity tariffs for chromite miners have been lowered from 8c to 6.7c per kWh.
However, in a contradictory move, the government has increased the royalty on chrome from 2% to 5%.
Similarly, Namibia has called for investors into the country to prioritise value creation through the mining process, specifically through beneficiation. Linked to this, the Namibian government is signing a deal with diamond mining giant De Beers to increase the amount of diamonds cut and polished in country.