Cape Town, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 5 February, 2008 – For Africa to prosper from its mineral wealth it must set out urgently to use the mining industry as the foundation for the construction of its economies, says Randgold Resources chief executive Mark Bristow
“To succeed in this”, he told the Mining Indaba here today, “government and mining industry leaders would have to cooperate and demonstrate the vision, courage and perseverance of true pioneers.
Bristow said mining companies operating in Africa had to accept that they had an obligation greater than the need to enrich investors. They also had a social responsibility to help the people of those countries realise their hopes of a better life.
"We must plan for and commit to the long run,” said Bristow. Instead of creating exaggerated expectations around projects that are marginal at best, we should concentrate on the development of realistic business models and viable feasibility studies,” he insisted. “We should re-invest for sustainability, and we should deal with our host governments not only as regulators but as partners," he added.
"As for the governments,” Bristow continued, “it is their responsibility to maintain a fiscal and legislative regime that is conducive to mining development, to play their part in infrastructure creation, and to share the wealth equitably with their people. These governments need to ensure that revenues they earn from the mining industry are used to make a tangible contribution to infrastructural development and the upliftment of the communities in which the mines operate," he concluded.