Miners warned about Myanmar, Tajikistan and Bolivia investments

Expropriation and resource nationalism will remain the main risks for miners in 2013, according to a report published Wednesday by UK-based risk consultancy Maplecroft.

Since the appropriation of mining assets by governments continues to assume more subtle forms, with authorities resorting to measures outside of blatant asset expropriations, Maplecroft developed an expropriation index to help companies worldwide in their decisions.

Twenty-one countries have been classified as “extreme risk” mining destinations by the newly launched parameters, which considers both the threat of outright nationalization of privately-owned businesses and the danger of so-called “‘creeping nationalization.”

Somalia took the first place as the most risky mining jurisdiction in terms of expropriation threats, followed closely by Eritrea and resource-rich Guinea.

Other mining nations highlighted in the report as risky were the Democratic Republic of Congo (4), Libya (6), Myanmar (9), Turkmenistan (11), Equatorial Guinea (14), Venezuela (16), Tajikistan (18) and Bolivia (19).

The nationalization of YPF in Argentina last year provided the most notorious example of resource nationalism.

However, the threat to investors increasingly comes from more sophisticated tactics, including increased royalties and taxation, says the study.

Maplecroft’s fifth annual Political Risk Atlas (PRA) includes 49 risk indices and interactive maps developed to enable companies and investors to monitor the key political issues and trends affecting the business environments of 197 countries.

The document includes dynamic short-term risks, such as rule of law, conflict, terrorism, macroeconomic risks, expropriation, resource nationalism and regime stability, as well as structural long-term risks, such as economic diversification, resource security, infrastructure readiness and human rights.

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