Threat of Resource Nationalism - Impact on Mining Companies


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This presentation discusses about the impacts of resource nationalism on mining companies and the protective strategies adopted by mining companies to minimize the effects of resource nationalism, which in turn would benefit the host nation’s economy while ensuring sufficient returns to the Mining companies.

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Threat of Resource Nationalism - Impact on Mining Companies

  1. 1. Copyright © Beroe Inc, 2013. All Rights Reserved 1 Abstract: Rise in commodity prices drives mining investments especially in resource rich economies. However, governments in resource rich countries have been formulating regulations that enable them to exercise a greater control over the assets operated by miners, which in other words is termed as resource nationalism. Resource nationalism has been the common strategy adopted by the governments mainly owing to improper share of the resource benefits between the host nation and mining companies. Such policies incur significant additional costs for mining companies.. This article discusses about the impacts of resource nationalism on mining companies and the protective strategies adopted by mining companies to minimize the effects of resource nationalism, which in turn would benefit the host nation’s economy while ensuring sufficient returns to the Mining companies. MAY | 2013 Threat of Resource Nationalism - Impact on Mining Companies
  2. 2. Copyright © Beroe Inc, 2013. All Rights Reserved 2 Introduction Recent boom in mining sector has encouraged more miners to invest in new projects. In 2012, mining investment was expected to peak with global mining capital expenditure at around USD 142 billion. However, certain business risks such as resource nationalism are expected to be a strong deterrent discouraging investment into new projects. Owing to such business risks, the global mining capital expenditure is expected to decline by 10% per annum to USD 115 billion by 2014. Why resource nationalism? Resource nationalism is attributable to the fact that mine profits are not appropriately shared between mining companies and the host nation. Resource nationalism, an act through which governments exercise a greater control over the assets from the mining companies has been known to pose significant threat to miners. A leading research firm rated resource nationalism as the biggest business risk for mining companies for the year 2012-2013. While many believe that resource nationalism is restricted to developing economies, this has been the trend in developed economies as well. About 25 countries across the world have already strengthened their policies that support increase in share of mining profits. Sudden policy changes by these governments have led the mining companies to reduce investment and in worst cases have led to shelving off the projects. Resource nationalism in developed economies Increasing the mine royalty taxes has been a prevalent practice in developed nations. In July 2012, Australian government imposed Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) which demands additional profit based taxes from mining companies extracting coal and iron ore. Australian government has estimated the total MRRT revenue to be about USD 10.6 billion by the end of 2015 with major miners such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata expected to account for 90% of the MRRT revenue. However, government lowered its target to around USD 2 billion by the end of 2012 mainly owing to fall in commodity prices in Q2 2012, rising cost of operations and a high Australian dollar which would strongly restrain mining companies from paying such high royalties. Governments are also giving importance to retaining ownership of state owned enterprises. In October 2012, Canadian government rejected Petronas’ bid worth USD 5.23 billion to acquire Canadian state owned natural gas Company, Progress Energy Canada Ltd. However, the bid was rejected due to Canadian government’s desire to retain valuable resources and directly benefit from these resources.0 50 100 150 200 2011 2012 2013 (F) 2014 (F) MiningcapexinUSDbillion Year Mining Capital Expenditure (2011-2014) Mining industry is confronted by business risks that are expected to deter the global mining capital expenditure by 10% per annum to USD 115 billion by 2014. Resource nationalism is attributable to the fact that mine profits are not appropriately shared between mining companies and host nation.
  3. 3. Copyright © Beroe Inc, 2013. All Rights Reserved 3 Resource Nationalism in Developing Economies While resource nationalism in developed economies is less cumbersome, resource nationalism has been quite rigid in developing economies which would sometimes go far to the extent of expropriation. Stringent government policies that insist on exorbitant taxation, mandatory domestic beneficiation of unrefined ores and export levies are commonly adopted methods of resource nationalism in developing economies. Countries like South Africa, Indonesia, Ghana, Chile and Peru have already started implementing policy changes that support resource nationalism. In February 2012, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) of Indonesia passed a regulation which requires domestic processing of minerals and prohibits the export of raw materials to foreign countries for beneficiation. In order to effectively mandate domestic beneficiation processes, Indonesian government has announced plans to levy additional tax of 25% on export of unrefined ores and has plans to further increase to 50% by 2013. However processes such as mineral beneficiation will require additional infrastructure, energy and skilled labor which would incur significant additional costs for a mining company. Developing economies are also ensuring that there is a significant participation of state owned mining companies in their mining sector. South Africa has taken steps to mandate 26% participation of indigenous people in mining operations as a part of Black Economic Empowerment. South Africa’s ruling party, African National Congress (ANC) has announced plans to levy windfall tax of 50% on mining profits and 50% capital gains tax on sale of prospecting rights as a part of increasing the state participation in resources sector and also to make significant addition to the nation’s revenue. Such dynamic nationalization laws have discouraged mining companies in investing into new projects. Resource nationalism has affected FDI inflows in developing economies especially inAfrica which recorded a decrease of 4.5% in FDI inflows in 2012 when compared to that of 2011. With nationalization laws becoming more stringent, FDI inflows in developing economies are expected to show a decreasing trend in the years to come. Recently, Zimbabwean government imposed mandatory indigenization which demands the foreign mining companies to give up 51% of their share to the locals. Revenue of USD 4 billion has been raised so far by the government after many foreign owned resource companies obliged to the indigenization law by ceding up 51% stake. In March 2011, Namibia announced “Strategic Mineral Policy” which demands strategic minerals like copper, coal, gold, uranium and platinum to be directly owned by a state mining company. Major miners’ concern over resource nationalism Resource nationalism became the major hurdle for Rio Tinto’s USD 6 billion worth Oyu Tolgoi (OT) mine in Mongolia. In October 2012, government of Mongolia announced plans to increase mine royalty tax for Oyu Tolgoi mine by USD 300 million. Further to this, the Mongolian government has plans to increase its stake in OT mine from a current share of 34% to 50%. Indonesian government’s new mining law suggests cancellation of contract based foreign investments and supports investment based on licensing system.The US based mining company, Freeport-McMoRan operates Grasberg copper and gold mine in Papua province of Indonesia. Recently, the Indonesian government has demanded a 51% stake in the Grasberg mine and has also announced plans to elevate royalties from current 3.4% to 10%. Additionally, Freeport-McMoRan’s foreign investment contract is about to expire in 2021 and is currently negotiating with the Indonesian government to offer a 20 year contract extension. However, government has disapproved the request according to Indonesian mining law of 2009. FDI Inflows into mining sector-Developing economies 0 5 10 15 20 25 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 2009 2010 2011 2012 FDIinAfricaandLDC(USDbillion) FDIindevelopingeconomies(USDbillion) Years Developing economies Africa LDC • Increasing mine royalties and retaining ownership of state owned enterprises has been the common trends followed by governments in developed economies • Mining companies in developing economies have been exposed to rigid nationalization policies that would sometimes travel to the extent of expropriation of mines. • Developing economies have been enacting policies that demand mandatory state participation. Such dynamic nationalization laws have affected FDI inflows in developing economies like Africa.
  4. 4. Copyright © Beroe Inc, 2013. All Rights Reserved 4 Strategies to mitigate the risks of Resource Nationalism Infrastructure aid through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Establishing partnerships with governments to aid in infrastructure development might be a potential solution for the big miners to attract significant support from local communities thereby avoiding nationalization of their operating mines in developing economies. Resource rich countries like Zimbabwe, Congo and Zambia suffer from unemployment and poor infrastructure.While these are considered as hurdles for a mining company to incept its operation, the same can be viewed as a gateway to mitigate risk of nationalization of resources and contribute to the economic development of the country. Rio Tinto has implemented PPP for its Simandou mine in Guinea, West Africa. According to this partnership, Rio Tinto would aid the government in investment of road and rail infrastructure in the region where the mine is located. Government of Guinea currently holds 51% stake in infrastructure and 35% stake in Simandou mine. Prominent Uranium miner’s Management of Social Sustainability Paladin Energy Ltd, a prominent Australia based Uranium producer operates Kayelekera mine situated in Northern region of Malawi where poor infrastructure conditions prevail. Recently, Paladin Energy Ltd established Social Sustainability Management Plan (SSMP). The initiative included plans to improve community infrastructure by construction of school buildings, upgrading the existing district hospital thereby contributing to local employment and staff skill development. An estimated amount of USD 15 million was invested for SSMP by Paladin Energy Ltd. EITI – An initiative to minimize the risks of Resource Nationalism EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) has been initiated out of the need to establish a transparent transaction system between the foreign mining companies and the host nations. EITI demands mandatory disclosure of transactions happening between the governments and mining companies. Such transparency showcases a miner’s share to the socio-economic benefit of the host nation thereby gaining local community support which in turn would encourage more investment from foreign mining firms. EITI is based out of Norway. Currently, around 37 countries have successfully implemented EITI norms and its being supported by World Bank, some NGOs and key mining, oil and gas companies. Recently, Sierra Leone failed to disclose the transaction history as required by norms of EITI. Hence, EITI temporarily suspended Sierra Leone from global mining transparency board and has recommended corrective actions to be undertaken. Legal protective measures against resource nationalism Mining companies investing in foreign economies are susceptible to financial risks due to the ever changing law systems that support nationalization of mines especially in developing economies. Hence, it’s always necessary for a mining firm to minimize such risks by adopting protective strategies. Protection of mining contracts through contract stabilization clauses Contract stabilization clauses is essential during contract negotiations between government and mining companies as it offers protection of contracts for a specified period of time against the local community’s right to alter the law. However, such law has been viewed upon as distrust by local governing bodies and NGO’s who fear such protective measures would disrupt country’s ability to enact initiatives that may stimulate economic development, and decrease poverty. • Mining companies have been investing in infrastructure by establishing partnerships with governments through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) • Recently, Rio Tinto established PPP with government of Guinea and has planned to invest in road and rail infrastructure surrounding the mine region • Paladin, a prominent Uranium miner implemented SSMP through which it has plans to improve infrastructure conditions in the area surrounding Kayelekera mine in Malawi. • Legal protective measures such as contract stabilization and BIT are being adopted by mining companies in order to minimize the financial risks due to resource nationalism.
  5. 5. Copyright © Beroe Inc, 2013. All Rights Reserved 5 Legal Protection of resources through BIT and PRI Bi-lateral investment treaty (BIT) is another prevalent protective measure signed between the host nation and the foreign mining investors. Avoiding unlawful expropriation, equitable treatment of foreign investors and local investors, Protection and security of investment are some of the terms on which BIT is signed.An act violating the terms of BIT is imposed, the host nation is subjected to penalty in terms of financial compensation. In June 2012, Churchill Mining PLC a London based mining company filed a law suit against the Indonesian government as the latter violated BIT by revoking the former’s right to mine in Busang regency, Indonesia. However, the government cited that the mining company didn’t possess the correct mining licenses to mine in the site. Some countries have objected to the renewal of BIT as they believe BIT would restrain them from enjoying the benefits from domestic natural resources. Recently, South Africa rejected BIT renewal with European Union (EU). Private insurers such as Lloyds, London are issuing Political Risk Insurance (PRI) to the mining companies. PRI is a bilateral contract signed between the insurer and customers such as mining companies and it provides insurance against common risks of resource nationalism such as expropriation. PRI is more flexible compared to BITs. However, PRI is premium in nature and cost of PRI issued depends upon the region and the intensity of nationalization. Resource nationalism forcing miners to alter procurement strategy Procurement of personnel, goods and products from outside countries has been the traditional practice of resource companies operating in developing countries mainly owing to lack of domestic availability of quality goods from a miner’s perspective and ineffective engagement with local suppliers.Though the practice of procuring goods through local dealerships of multinational companies already exists, they were not observed to contribute significantly to the development of local content. Such practices are fading as there is increased pressure to develop local content. Nowadays, developing local content has shifted from a miner’s choice to an activity that is mandated by reforms. Governments have been increasingly pressurizing mining companies to adopt local procurement as their procurement strategy thereby generating domestic revenue that in turn would solve issues such as poverty, unemployment etc. • Revenue through Local procurement would be a lucrative option than adding revenue through increased taxation. Recently, there has been an increased focus on local suppliers in providing core services to mining companies in developing economies. • Mine operations being complex, miners have increased focus on potential suppliers with proven track records thus excluding local suppliers from their portfolio. • Governments have been increasingly pressurizing miners to develop local content thereby adding significant economic benefits to the host nation
  6. 6. Copyright © Beroe Inc, 2013. All Rights Reserved 6 Local Procurement - benefit to the host nation Local procurement would encourage more miners to invest in FDI if the services and products supplied by the domestic players nearly comply with the quality of the mining companies’ incumbents. Hence there is a need for government systems to finance local supply bases in order to cater to the demands of mining companies. Obtaining revenue through local procurement would be more lucrative compared to revenues from increased taxation. Till now, developing economies have been successful in catering non-core services such as food and beverage, software and packaging services to mining companies. Recently, there has been an increased focus on providing core services to miners as it would be a significant source of revenue for the local communities. As a result of local procurement strategy, the local supply base for mining in Brazil has expanded from 50% in 2003 to about 80% in 2010 thereby contributing USD 9 billion to the economy. In 2008, BHP Billiton’s Spence mine in Chile reported that 85% of the supplies to the mine were from domestic suppliers thereby adding USD 485 million to Chilean economy. In 2010, Barrick Gold’s Zaldivar gold mine contributed USD 285 million to Chilean economy by procuring 70% of the mine supplies from domestic players. Local content development is also prevalent in developed economies. Recently, Rio Tinto’s Diavik mine reported 90% of supplies from local players thereby contributing USD 1 billion to the indigenous groups. Barriers to development of Local content By engaging with domestic suppliers, miners have benefits of reduced lead time and logistics cost, better bargaining power resulting in significant cost savings. However, mining companies are exposed to barriers while adopting local procurement strategy. Provided Mine operations are capital and labor intensive requiring complex procurement strategies, mining companies would generally prefer potential suppliers capable of providing superior quality products to meet their demands. Also the nature of contracts with suppliers being long term, procurement decisions are usually taken at a central level (global office) thereby minimizing opportunities for local suppliers in securing contracts.Some mines in developing economies are located in remote areas which are present at far distances from local community settlements thereby reducing chances of interactions between mine procurement officers and local suppliers. Though some local suppliers have the capability to cater to the challenging demands of mining industry, miners are under the perception that local suppliers wouldn’t match the expertise of their incumbents. Recently in Ghana, a multinational oil company rejected a tender bid issued by a leading local supplier .GHEITI (Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Index) claims that bid was rejected in spite of the supply being technically competent and relatively cheaper compared to tenders received from its incumbents. A sound local content policy ensures effective local procurement Emerging economies often suffer from lack of having a sound local content policy that facilitates effective local procurement. Rigid policies of resource nationalism that mandates local procurement may induce unnecessary pressure on the mining company and may strongly deter from making investments. Recently, Government of Ghana set target of achieving 90% local content in the nation’s oil mining sector by 2020. However, Ghana currently lacks sophisticated technology and skilled labor required to perform complicated oil mining operations. International Energy Agency (IEA) claims the target to be too ambitious and would be a difficult task to achieve. In African mining conference (Mining Indaba) conducted in South Africa on Feb 2012, some of the local suppliers claimed that local content development would not be a feasible option unless the government facilitates access for capital required for their capacity expansions. Also, most of the contracts signed with local suppliers were short term which would result in business breakdown if the mining company suspends its operation owing to various economic factors. Policies induced by government in most of developing nations are instable at times and often subject to change which would incur significant losses for the operating company. Hence there is a need for developing economies to establish a collaborative approach in framing regulations and laws that ensure local content development. • Governments in emerging economies are politically instable enacting stringent nationalization policies. Also, such policies are instable thereby deterring mine investments. • There is a need for developing economies to build a collaborative approach in framing policies that support local content development.
  7. 7. Copyright © Beroe Inc, 2013. All Rights Reserved 7 Conclusion External investment is vital for development of mining industry especially in developing economies where there is lack of sufficient domestic capital and technology in spite of the availability of abundant resource rich deposits. However, developing economies have been unsuccessful in motivating foreign mining companies to utilize these natural resources by adopting nationalization strategies that demand a greater state control of resources from foreign investors.This has discouraged and deterred foreign mining investment. Hence, governments need to develop a balanced approach by rationalizing existing laws and regulatory framework to optimize revenue generation from foreign mining investment while enabling an investment friendly climate for mining companies to operate. Author: Sabarish Vaishnav A | Research Analyst Sources:$FILE/Business-risk-facing-mining-and-metals-2012-2013.pdf$FILE/Business-risk-facing-mining-and-metals-2012-2013.pdf Disclaimer: Strictly no photocopying or redistribution is allowed without prior written consent from Beroe Inc. The information contained in this publication was derived from carefully selected sources. Any opinions expressed reflect the current judgment of the author and are subject to change without notice. Beroe Inc accepts no responsibility for any liability arising from use of this document or its contents. For more information, please contact