The law has received all the necessary approvals and is awaiting ratification from the Council of Ministers.

It is expected that the law will lower corporate taxation on mining projects to 30 per cent from 45 per cent. ‘In addition, there will be a system through which project losses can be deferred,’ says the official. ‘And this includes all the start-up costs.’

The law will allow potential investors to import equipment and consumable materials on a custom and duty-free basis. There will also be no need for local equity partners.

Perhaps the most innovative clauses expected in the legislation will establish that utility services or infrastructure constructed by the project company can be sold to the local populace.

‘What this means is that if it is more economical to build a larger power plant, then excess generating capacity could be legally sold to the grid or directly to the local community,’ he says. ‘Equally, if a road was built in a remote area, the local community could be charged for using it.’