Commodities boom triggers belated nationalism debate

Dominic O’Neill
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Evidence of at least some degree of a Chinese slowdown over the past six months has coincided with a different development. Since last summer, there have been reports of mining corporations losing hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to union activity and stoppages in South Africa.

This is particularly worrying, as in the minds of some investors it is linked with proposals over the past 12 months for new mining codes in Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe, and new mining taxes in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Zambia.

Magnus Ericsson at Raw Materials group, a consultancy, says places such as Finland, Canada and Australia have seen moves like this recently too. Governments might simply have taken until now to catch up with the commodities super-cycle, according to Ericsson.