Monday, August 20, 2018
Roger Baxter

Roger Baxter

Chamber of Mines of South Africa

THE burden of ameliorating strained relations between the mining sector and the South African government’s Department of Minerals Resources (DMR), as well as those with the country’s perennially truculent unions, is one partly borne by Roger Baxter. But it’s not all about playing off the back foot either; after all, the chamber’s mandate is to carry forth the views of its members ... and the members have had enough. Against this background, there’s less room for passivity: South Africa’s regulatory and legal environment has deteriorated drastically, even in the last 12 months. Senior changes in the DMR, including the sudden appointment of a new minister in Mosebenzi Zwane, have set in place a world of growing political complexity for Baxter. In terms of granular knowledge of industry economics, Baxter is probably the best appointee the chamber has had, but the yang to that yin is that he’s also academic in nature; he’s certainly not a born politician as some of his counterparties are. What has become clear in the last 12 months is the tougher notes the chamber has been hitting. It kicked hard against the recall of amendments to the Mineral & Petroleum Resources Development Act, and poured scorn on the proposed carbon tax. If Mr. Baxter feels calm about the future, it could because he’s in the eye of the storm.

LIFE OF ROGER

Born in 1966, Baxter holds an MSc Economics from the University of Natal. He joined the Chamber of Mines in 1992, spending time as its chief economist and then, after a short break with Rio Tinto in Canada, he became the chamber’s COO and then CEO. He has spearheaded the chamber’s involvements in talks to set up the Mining Charter and the Mineral Royalties Bill.