TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Endemic mistrust between private sector miners and African jurisdictions belies the spirit and objectives set out in the African Union’s African Mining Vision, an audience attending the eighth MineAfrica panel discussion at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference heard on Sunday.
“The biggest problem is mistrust between governments and the private sector. We are currently grappling with this issue,” technical adviser to the Association Chamber of Mines and other Mining Associations of Africa and CEO of the Namibia Chamber of Mines Veston Malango said.
“As long as this mistrust is perpetuated, we will not make progress. The African Mining Vision will be difficult to pursue if we cannot solve this fundamental problem of instilling a higher level of trust.”
According to him, the strategy is simple – the mining industry will have to undertake introspection and look at the perception governments have towards the mining industry. He believes transparency is key, since it forms the foundation of trust.
However, this goes both ways; while far too often miners do not play open cards with their host governments, not fully disclosing production figures to avoid full taxation, conversely, miners fear governments want to “kill the golden goose” by taxing the life out of an industry during commodity boom times.