Published Research archive

Final Report - A review of the UNCTAD report on trade misinvoicing, with a full counterfactual on South African exports

At the request of the South African Chamber of Mines, Eunomix Research has conducted an independent, non-peer reviewed, analysis of the UNCTAD study entitled Trade Misinvoicing in Primary Commodities in Developing Countries: The cases of Chile, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia. The UNCTAD study points towards a systematic practice of mis- and underinvoicing among mining companies in these countries, alleging that the mining industry has been engaging in this practice with the direct objective of avoiding taxes or, at the very least, reducing tax burdens in producing countries. Specifically, the report states that mining and oil companies have misappropriated as much as 67% of the export revenues of the countries studied, most of which would occur out of South Africa.

The counterfactual studies conducted by Eunomix, and focused on South Africa, have easily demonstrated that the UNCTAD study's findings are both theoretically and empirically incorrect:
1 - In the case of gold, the trade data discrepancy figure of USD 78.2 billion (in the July 2016 report) or USD 57 billion (in the December 2016 report) was shown to actually be only USD 9.8 billion, according to other reliable data sources in South Africa.
2 - In the case of silver and platinum, the trade data discrepancy figure of USD 24 billion was shown to be only USD 15 billion, according to other reliable data sources in South Africa.
3 - In the case of iron ore, the trade data discrepancy figure of USD 620 million for iron ore was shown to be lower than the figures compiled by the DMR and DTI. 

On this basis, Eunomix rejects the UNCTAD study's conclusion that trade misinvoicing is substantial, and that underinvoicing is preponderant in misinvoicing. It is our view that the UNCTAD study mainly, and perhaps exclusively, documented trade data discrepancies rather than actual trade discrepancies:
1 - The core proposition Trade Discrepancy = Trade Misinvoicing if greater than 10 percent appears false.
2 - In reality, Trade Data Discrepancy imperfectly reflects Actual Trade Discrepancy, which may or may not indicate Trade Misinvoicing.

Our findings call into question the methodology used by institutions like Global Financial Integrity and the African Union/UNECA (in their 2014 Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa) to document illicit financial flows. 

Infographics on the contribution of mining in Rustenburg - 2014 data

In March 2016 Eunomix Research released a study measuring the impact of the platinum mining industry on the socioeconomics of Rustenburg, South Africa. This infographics presents key findings of the study in a concise way. 

Second report on trade gaps in South African gold

Further research commissioned by the Chamber of Mines of South Africa on trade gaps in South African gold, explaining that trade gaps are due to the Rand Refinery refining gold from other African countries.

A review of the UNCTAD report on trade misinvoicing, with a focus on South Africa's gold export

The Chamber of Mines of South Africa commissioned Eunomix to produce a limited counterfactual to the UNCTAD report on trade misinvoicing in five developing countries, published in July 2016, which - inter alia - accused South African gold producers of smuggling USD 72.8 billion out of the country. Eunomix finds that, based on alternative data sources, the reporting gap on which UNCTAD's accusations are based is four times smaller than alleged by UNCTAD. This puts into question the overall conclusion of the UNCTAD report that South African gold producers are engaged in illegal trading and smuggling.

The impact of platinum mining in Rustenburg

This report studies the impact of platinum mining in the Rustenburg area in South Africa. In particular, it looks at the three main platinum companies' direct and indirect economic role and the impact of their social investments. The study finds that the while the impact of the platinum companies in the area has been extensive, there remains space for more strategic directions in responding to some of the underlying socio-economic structural problems that plague the area.

Africa Mineral and Beneficiation Policy Monitor #2

Eunomix's second Africa Mineral and Beneficiation Policy Monitor highlights several African governments' struggle in implementing their beneficiation policies through export barriers due to the current economic climate in the extractives industries, which is rather characterized by job losses and mine closures than by investment in beneficiation capabilities, including in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Uganda.

Special Economic Zones in 'Fragile Situations': A useful policy tool?

The African Development Bank published a Eunomix paper on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in 'Fragile Situations'. The report contrasts the theory of developing SEZs with evidence from existing experience in fragile situations in Africa (more often than not of unfulfilled promises), identifying problems of weak governance and instability as particular constraints.

The drivers and objectives of Zimbabwe's beneficiation policy

This study provides a comprehensive account of the economic context and objectives of the Government of Zimbabwe's beneficiation policy. The study investigates mineral beneficiation as a concept and as a policy tool in Zimbabwe's specific context and analyses both the formulation of the policy and its initial implementation in order to evaluate any potential intended and unintended consequences that could emerge in the near future.

Africa Mineral and Beneficiation Policy Monitor #1

This new monitor, will be issued on a quarterly basis, and dedicated to tracking trends in beneficiation and mineral rent policy, legislation and regulation in Africa. It aims to provide a 'live' overview of the continent-wide movement to derive greater local value from the mining industry, with all the implications this entails for economic development, investment climate and the growth of the mining sector. This monitor represents a natural extension of Eunomix's extensive work on the topic.

A first look at the economic impact of export taxes

Eunomix has completed a high level analysis of the potential economic impact of export taxes on unbeneficiated minerals in South Africa, should these become policy. With the Mineral and Petroleum Bill having returned to Parliament, such taxes, together with other controversial measures, are being actively debated. Therefore, understanding their impact is critical.

Is Africa's "great boom" sustainable? An analysis of 40 years resource rents

This Eunomix study is a ground breaking and comprehensive analysis of the long resource rent cycle in Africa between 1970 and 2010. Using World Bank data, the analysis demonstrated how commodity prices affect the formation of natural resource rents, and impact economic growth. The study, which has been widely recognised, demonstrates and quantifies how government policy can lead to accelerated rent formation as well as destruction – with their attending benefits and costs.

The work has been widely recognised and has appeared in Forbes Africa, Mining Weekly, in newspapers. It has been presented in numerous fora, including: the 2014 Mining Indaba, the 2013 Joburg Indaba, the ICMM in London, the 2013 Intergovernmental Forum on Mining in Geneva, and Columbia University in New York City. The research was recently submitted in South Africa to the Davis Tax Committee (Tax Review Committee) because of its broad implications for policy and taxation.

Eunomix slides Columbia

Presentation by Anne-Cecile Souhaid at the MineAfrica West Africa Focus on the Eunomix approach to infrastructure projects in mining – October 2013

Eunomix Presentation – West Africa

Presentation by Anne-Cecile Souhaid at the MineAfrica West Africa Focus on the Eunomix approach to infrastructure projects in mining – October 2013

Eunomix Presentation – MineAfrica CSR Seminar

Presentation by Claude Baissac at the MineAfrica CSR & Risk Conference on managing political and country risk in fragile states – October 2013

De-risking mining in Africa

Exploration projects set the tone for a mining venture, and often determine success and failure.Managing country risk early on is key to creating value. Read our presentation on MineAfrica on this..

Exploration and Junior Mining Conference

Read these very insightful recommendations by top experts on de-risking junior mining projects in Africa – Eunomix workshop at the November 2012 Exploration and Junior Mining Conference in South Africa.

The International Resource Journal

The December issue of the International Resource Journal has a focus on West African Minerals. Eunomix has taken the opportunity to place an advert – page 122.

Analysis on the platinum industry’s position

The appalling incident around Lonmin's Marikana operation on 16 August and the illegal strikes that have affected the platinum industry are illustrative of part of that challenge – the tense and violent competition between two unions for dominance in the Western limb of the platinum belt.

An international best practice perspective into the ANC's research team proposals for the mining industry

In September 2010 the ANC comissioned a report into the role of the state in the mining industry. Eunomix conducted an evaluation of what the report's proposals would do to the countrys mineral governance from an international best practice perspective

South Africa Monitor

Eunomix produces a monthly South Africa Monitor which tracks and summarises relevant political, regulatory and industry developments focused on the mining industry. For queries about subscribing to the Monitor

Policy Issue Paper: Mineral Beneficiation in South Africa

Eunomix conducts regular analysis of mining-relevant legislative developments. These policy issue papers summarise the policies, provide an overview of opinions, and give the company's take on these. For queries about subscribing to the Monitor