Ivanhoe’s chairman Robert Friedland argues that investors considering SA are most interested in clear, fair rules for the mining industry.For Ivanhoe Mines, the review of South African mining legislation has raised some concerns, writes Vicky Sidler. “You can’t argue that the state should protect its own interests,” he stated, at the 2013 Joburg Indaba ‘Investing in Resources and Mining in Africa’ that kicked off on 29 October in Sandton. “But the referee must be independent, the playing field level. Once investors have confidence in policy stability, the rest must follow,” he said. This was confirmed by a poll of conference attendees showed that 45% found regulatory instability to be a primary concern.
Nevertheless, Friedman added that “the fact that the nationalisation debate has been kicked into touch has given us confidence.”Ivanhoe Mines has demonstrated this with its 90% investment into the Platreef project in the Limpopo province of South Africa. “I don’t have the words to tell you how bullish I am on Africa… It is the most exciting and potentially most rewarding place to be operating on our planet,” Friedman enthused.