Identification And Distribution Of Mineral Rents In Southern Africa

Cawood, F. T.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
The definition of mineral rents has historically been somewhat unclear, but a growing understanding of the source and composition of the revenues that comprise these rents mean that they can be more easily identified and quantified. Furthermore the way in which the flow of the rents from mineral developments are captured and then distributed has been a point of contention amongst the various stakeholders. Investors, the host government, the resource owners, environmental interests, indigenous groups and land owners are identified in this paper as the principal participants in mineral development and while each is entitled to a portion of the rent, the size of their portions will differ. A competitive rent-sharing model for southern African countries has been established and indicates how the range of stakeholders could be rewarded for their contribution. Acceptance of the sharing ratios amongst the recipients is a function of their understanding of the size of the rent and their position in the hierarchy of stakeholders. At first glance investors appear to receive the largest share of the rent, but they disburse some of the rent to hidden costs, which when all is said and done, means that investors and host governments retain approximately equal shares of the mineral rent. Both the investor and government are faced with the dilemma of how to equitably distribute the rents they have captured to minority stakeholders. Government captures corporate tax, mineral royalties and a wide range of subordinate taxes, but is required to construct policies that will ensure distributional equity among the various levels of government as well as among the provinces that comprise the country. Investors will have to ensure that a portion of the rents they capture are diverted to other stakeholders namely resource owners, environmental interests, indigenous peoples groups and the landowners. This paper identifies the major recipients of rent and provides some indication of equitable distribution ratios for mineral wealth among them?a first step in ensuring that mineral development is compatible with long-term sustainable development and in the best national interests.
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