Reported by MiningNe.ws today, from the African Mining Indaba in Cape Town:
“Mining Indaba 2012 – Nationalisation is not an option
Susan Shabangu, Mineral Resources Minister, today addressed delegates at Mining Indaba held in Cape Town saying that nationalisation is not a viable option. The Minister also said that the ANC has welcomed the report and it's findings and that they will adopt a policy that would benefit the country. The minister also said the state would become increasingly involved in exploration so that new deposits could be discovered to create jobs and replace worked-out mines. The National Treasury will set aside a budget for this.“
Great to see that nationalising mines is off the table, but the idea that the state should get into exploration, is flawed, due to the following:- Exploration is a risky business, citizens should not carry such risks, they are for companies planning to benefit from exploration successes now and then;- If any particular exploration has any chance of being successful, then the private sector can do it better than the state;- What would the state do with any exploration success? If the state shouldn't own mines, it would need to tender out or auction the property. In any case, it would be competing with mining/exploration companies.- The state would be both player (explorer) and referee (regulator) at the same time. Still a way to go in getting the state out of the way, I see.