South Africa’s government faces a dilemma: how to help mining companies weather surging costs and depressed commodity prices as the ruling African National Congress seeks to wring more revenue from the industry.
Atlas Copco AB, the world’s largest maker of air compressors, posted fourth-quarter net income that missed analysts’ estimates and gave a more subdued outlook on the first quarter than Swedish peers, citing Europe and China.
South Africa’s mineral resources minister said the country must ensure its mining industry, the world’s largest producer of platinum and chrome, remains competitive even as the ruling African National Congress looks for ways to impose more taxes or royalties.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered his government to repatriate $11 billion in gold held in banks abroad to safeguard the country from the economic crisis and said he’ll nationalize the local gold industry.
South Africa’s sovereign rating was cut one level by Standard & Poor’s, which cited concern that a wave of strikes in the mining industry is causing political and social unrest and placing pressure on government spending.