Randgold boss warns changing mining codes will dent finance

THE CHIEF executive of blue chip gold miner Randgold Resources has warned that making changes to mining codes in African countries could stunt investment in mining companies.

Speaking at the Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town, Mark Bristow said that Africa, which is rich in mineral terms, has to compete for investment with other regions with natural wealth such as South America, Eastern Europe, Russia and Asia.

Bristow added that Randgold, which has operations in Mali, the Ivory Coast and the Congo, had to return a “substantial slice of the net revenue pie” to the state, despite funding the entire discovery and development costs itself.

Bristow said that it was “disturbing” that there existed a “growing tendency among the sub-Saharan mining countries to want more without giving anything back”.

“Even a moderate change in their current codes will diminish these countries' ability to compete for direct fixed investment, or to encourage reinvestment,” Bristow added yesterday.

The African governments should provide a “stable, business-friendly” regime to attract investors, then partner with mining companies to drive the projects forward and share in the proceeds, according to the gold miner’s chief executive.