Chamber of Mines holds forum on resource nationalism
The Ghana Chamber of Mines, on Thursday held a resource nationalism forum in Accra for stakeholders in the industry to ensure that all actors benefit equally from the natural resources.
Resource Nationalism is when countries make efforts to extract maximum value and developmental impact for their people from their finite natural resources.
The forum brought together policy makers, natural resources experts, and civil society organisations, think-tanks, and government officials, members of parliament and representatives of regulatory bodies.
Dr Toni Aubynn, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Chamber of Mines said the forum was organised to provide thought on leadership and knowledge building on issues that affect mining sector, including challenges of perception.
He said it is time for honest partnerships and collaborations among stakeholders to ensure that resource nationalism is managed more effectively.
Mr Dan Wiredu, President, Chamber of Mines who described the forum as an idea booster indicated that resource nationalism had become a real issue and a number one risk for mining companies globally, receiving much attention.
He said Ghana and other stakeholders should therefore draw synergies that would boost the mining sector for mutual benefits.
“The mining industry form a key component of the economy and everything should be done to boost investor confidence in the industry,” Mr Wiredu said.
Mr Nick Holland, Group CEO, Gold Fields Limited, who spoke on: “Resource Nationalism” said a 2012 research revealed that most governments, especially developing countries balance sheet were under pressure because they view resources nationalism only in the context of mining profits.
He said a study of 40 top mining companies in 2012 also indicated that they were operating at a lost due the general economic hardship, with some closing down and making people lose their jobs whereas everybody’s focus was on the resources in the sector.
“Mining investments are under threat with many trillions of dollars that should have been made in the past three years are not being changed.”
The companies are also not interpreting the mining operation properly to the people thereby creating the impression that there is much money in the sector.
He said the reality is that, margins and returns from mining are declining with gold price fallen as low as 1,300 dollars per oz, while operating cash flows are not sufficient to cover investment with equity model breaking point..
Mr Holland noted that countries like Chile, Peru, Botswana and Zambia are making strides at addressing resource nationalism and had put in place strategies and programmes and measures to remodel their fiscal margins.
He asked companies to collaborate with community members and government to grow the “mining pie” to ensure a win-win situation.
Dr Joyce Aryee, former CEO of the Chamber of Mines said resource nationalism is a good concept that needs to be given a thought through which government could sit with industry to see how best resources could benefit the people.