The EU will for the first time seek sanctions against Russian mining, which competes with SA

The executive arm of the European Union will for the first time propose banning new investments in Russia’s mining sector, bolstering efforts to hurt Moscow’s ability to fund its war against Ukraine, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

And that could have implications for the price of South African exports.

The proposal from the European Commission will be under discussion with the EU’s 27 member states in the coming days, with the aim to reach an agreement by the end of next week, three unnamed sources with knowledge of the discussions told the FT.

EU officials have previously avoided targeting Russia’s metals sector because of fears about how sanctions would potentially impact the world’s supply chains.

The potential ban will have exceptions for some specific products. Russia produces gold, uranium, iron ore, titanium and other metals – with several areas of overlap in South Africa’s major mining exports.

Russia’s mining sector accounted for a quarter of foreign investment into the country before the Ukraine war started in February, the report said, citing the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The proposal is part of a ninth sanctions package being crafted by the EU targeting Russia after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine in late February. The EU, along with Western allies, has targeted Russia’s oil industry, Russian banks, as well as hundreds of government officials and oligarchs.