West Australia Africa investment hits $30bn

WESTERN Australia Premier Colin Barnett says his state has so far invested over US$30 billion in Africa’s mining industry.
Mr Barnett said over 120 companies out of the 190 that are active in Africa, including Zambia, are from Western Australia.
Speaking when he officially opened the African Down Under (ADU) mining conference in Perth, Australia, on Wednesday, Mr Bar n e t t sai d , “[My] Government is working with the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) to strengthen the capacity of the member states to benefit more from their abundant mineral resources.”
Earlier, COMESA secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya said COMESA is working with the government of Western Australia to develop a harmonised regional mineral policy focusing on the legal and regulatory framework.
Mr Ngwenya said the meeting is intended to level the operating environment for mineral resource exploitation.
He said the policy will be guided by the Africa Mining Vision and will places emphasis on mining for development and socio-economic transformation.
“An important aspect of the harmonised environment would be on optimising the fiscal frameworks through appropriately configured taxation mechanisms. The experience of Australia in using its resource base as a springboard for socio-economic transformation continues to draw African countries to ADU to seek optimal ways to exploit the continent’s vast mineral resources to underpin development,” Mr Ngwenya said.
He said the collaboration between Australia and the African continent had witnessed more Australian mining companies in Africa and trade missions undertaken by companies such as Armour Energy Limited in May 2015 to Zambia, Uganda, Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania.
Mr Ngwenya said Australia is a key player in financing mineral exploration and mine development globally and thus Africa sees ADU as an opportunity to showcase geological potential and the prospectively for certain minerals in its diverse geology.

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