Mining investment - Namibia has been ranked third on the African continent for its investment potential in the mining and exploration sectors. The ranking appears in the 2012/2013 Fraser Institute's annual survey of mining companies, released last week. The institute is based in Vancouver, Canada.
Botswana is the 'bright spot', ranked Africa's number one on the list of 16 African countries surveyed. The five top countries in Africa are Botswana, which ranks 17 globally, Morocco at 25 on the global ranking list, Namibia at 30 on global ranking list, Mauritania at 36 and Guinea at 54. There are 96 global rankings with Indonesia ranked as the worst place to do business in mining. The results are from a survey of 742 mineral exploration and development companies.
'Namibia recovered to 30th position in 2012/2013 after dropping to 45th in 2011/2012. Its improved ratings were for uncertainty concerning disputed land claims, availability of labour and skills, and uncertainty concerning the administration, interpretation, or enforcement of existing regulations,' said the Fraser Institute.
It emphasised that Namibia's mineral resources data is provided at relatively low cost to industry participants. This also creates a junior and senior company level playing field, thus encouraging investment.
However, some concerns were the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) rules; the uranium moratorium; and moves by the government to change mining laws, which could be toxic to new exploration investment.
Meanwhile, the survey indicated that Africa's average Policy Potential Index (PPI) score decreased, continuing a five-year decline. Tanzania ranks at 74, followed by Guinea at 76, Mali at 79, Madagascar at 85 and Zimbabwe at 91. At number 93 the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is ranked as the worst on the index.
According to the survey, resource nationalism in Africa is a major concern, corruption needs to be controlled, governments have to be more proactive towards investors, and transparency is a must and could be a strong motivator for investors.
The most attractive areas for mining investment are Finland, Sweden, Canada, Norway and the United States. The survey was conducted from October 9 2012 to January 6 2013.