South African Banks Investment in the Mining Sector in SADC

Novembro 15th, 2015
South African Money

Southern Africa is home to significant deposits of some of the world’s most strategic minerals, such as platinum, manganese, chromium, cobalt, titanium, diamonds, copper and gold. The tapping of these minerals often requires millions of dollars to be spent on exploration, new technology, roads railways and ports to mention just a few. The role of banks in funding mining operations cannot be overemphasised especially since the mining sector is considered risky and expensive. South Africa is one of the foremost mining countries in the world. South African mining companies, big and small are investing in Southern Africa’s mines since the late Nineteenth Century. South African firms are mining copper and gold in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), copper in Zambia, platinum in Zimbabwe, gas in Mozambique, coal in Swaziland, and diamonds in Botswana and Namibia. South African Banks are key funders of a number of mining companies. Questions abound on the nature of these deals and the lack of transparency that surrounds them. There are concerns about whether banks do due diligence before they fund any mining activities to guide against corruption, social, environmental and human rights abuses that are linked to mining. This largely research operational project is an attempt to investigate South African banks and interrogate their funding commitment in mining in SADC and consider whether they can do things differently.  The research will also identify and analyze international norms, guidelines and principles that banks have signed up to and interrogate how South African banks are implementing them.