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SA miners propose flow-through scheme

South Africa miners are proposing a flow-through shares scheme to encourage investment in exploration.
SA miners propose flow-through scheme SA miners propose flow-through scheme SA miners propose flow-through scheme SA miners propose flow-through scheme SA miners propose flow-through scheme

The Minerals Council South Africa would like to see a threefold increase in greenfields mining exploration expenditure

Staff reporter

The proposal was flagged yesterday at the Joburg Indaba, which continues today in Johannesburg.

Canada's flow-through shares scheme provides tax incentives to investors, by allowing deductions for resource expenses renounced by eligible corporations and investment tax credits for individuals on resource expenses in the mining sector that qualify as flow-through mining expenditures.

Dual-listed Orion Minerals CEO Errol Smart told the mining conference yesterday the Minerals Council South Africa (MCSA) had developed a flow-through share scheme which it had presented to government.

"To me, this is absolute logic," he said according to the Joburg Indaba twitter feed.

Orion is aiming to redevelop the Prieska copper-zinc project in the Northern Cape and has exploration projects nearby in the Areachap belt and in Western Australia.

MCSA CEO Roger Baxter said he wanted to see greenfields mining exploration in South Africa increase from 1% of global expenditure to 3% in five years.

He told the conference during question time that a flow-through shares scheme must form part of a broader package to also address other regulatory issues and red tape, according to a local media report.

The MCSA had earlier welcomed the African National Congress' Economic Transformation Committee's suggestion mid-year to incentivise South African retail investors who were willing to invest in mining exploration. 

The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada has said its financing tool had "propelled Canada to be a global leader in mineral exploration and mining".

It cited Agnico Eagle Mines' Meadowbank gold operation in Nunavut as an example of how flow-through shares contributed to the discovery and development of a deposit into a mine.

Mining lobby groups and the ASX unsuccessfully argued the case to introduce the scheme to Australia about 10 years ago.

The government then introduced the Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive in 2017, which enabled eligible explorers to generate tax credits, which could be distributed to investors who purchased newly-issued shares during a certain period.