Mineral resource nationalism on the rise: Verisk Maplecroft research

Over the last year 34 countries saw a significant increase in mineral resource nationalism, according to latest research compiled in Verisk Maplecroft’s Resource Nationalism Index (RNI).

The global risk and consultancy firm also warned that the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic could contribute to a rising appetite for governments to seek greater control over revenues from mining companies.

Verisk’s RNI identified 18 mineral and hydrocarbon dependent countries where threats to the bottom line of natural resource operators will expand further over the next two years, as governments try to claw back the financial losses of the pandemic.

Mining houses in Latin America and Africa were highlighted as being most susceptible to rising instruments of resource nationalism, including state interventionism, expropriation and indigenisation policies.

“The countries to watch closest are the mining jurisdictions characterised by both a painful COVID-related economic contraction and a rise in these less explicit forms of resource nationalism,” said Verisk’s head of Americas research Jimena Blanco.

“These governments are becoming more willing to intervene in the economy, use indirect expropriation, or demand increases in local content requirements – opening the door to a more sophisticated resource nationalism path.”

In 2020, spikes in resource nationalism were observed in Mexico (ranked 14th highest risk globally in the RNI), Liberia (41st), Colombia (44th), Mauritania (74th), Mali (85th), Chile (97th) and Canada (140th).