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Project Finance Challenges in Natural Resource Infrastructure

a black worker in an orange jacket and white helmet on a mining field

In this article:

Natural resource infrastructure projects play a critical role in the development of a country's economy.

However, investors and decision-makers face several challenges in financing these types of projects.

In this article, we will dive into the project financing challenges in the raw material resources sector and explore ways to overcome them.

What are the project finance challenges in the natural resources sector?

The natural assets sector faces project funding challenges due to its unique financing model. The financing model for natural resource projects is different from other types of infrastructure projects.

For instance, land and water resources projects require huge capital investments, and the returns on investments can take a very long time. This creates a long repayment period, which is a significant challenge for lenders.

Assessing the risk and rewards of investing in natural assets infrastructure projects is another challenge. Industries such as oil and gas have a high degree of uncertainty connected to them.

Investors must understand the risks associated with land and water resource projects and need to be prepared to take on the associated risks to achieve higher returns.

Navigating the complex regulatory landscape for raw material resource infrastructure projects is also a significant challenge. Natural resources and infrastructure fall within the purview of several government agencies and require multiple permits and licenses. Investors must navigate the regulatory landscape to ensure compliance with all local and national laws and regulations.

How does project funding work in the infrastructure sector?

Project finance is a financing model that connects a pool of investors with infrastructure development.

The model's goal is to finance an infrastructure project through its entire life cycle using various sources of capital. Project funding is about risk-sharing and requires a thorough evaluation of the project's viability and success.

Infrastructure projects require large amounts of capital investments and long repayment periods. The different types of financing models include debt financing, equity financing, and alternative financing models.

Lenders and investors share the risk of a project in debt financing.

Equity financing entails purchasing ownership in an infrastructure project.

Alternative financing models include revenue bonds, tax-exempt bonds, and pension fund investments.

Investors play a crucial role in infrastructure financing, and decision-makers must identify the right financing sources.

Project financing specialists play an important role in assessing the viability of a project, and mitigating investment risks through asset, revenue, and contract structures.

excavations of natural resourcrs

What is the role of natural resources in project finance?

Natural assets play a pivotal role in infrastructure development, and resource constraints impact project funding arrangements.

Renewable energy and other land and water resource projects have unique financing opportunities compared to traditional infrastructure projects.

Financing options for renewable energy include venture capital, private equity, and project financing.

Infrastructure projects in countries rich in raw material resources are often large and complex.

Countries such as Ghana and Nigeria have had some success in financing large projects, mostly oil and gas projects.

The development of natural resources requires significant investment, and private financing is critical.

How can project funding challenges be overcome?

Project funding challenges in natural assets development projects can be overcome using innovative financing structures.

Capital market solutions such as equity and debt offerings can be utilized to finance development projects.

Decision-makers can develop strong contractual frameworks to mitigate risk for investors and lenders.

Engaging with stakeholders is also critical in overcoming project finance challenges. Stakeholders provide the social and political support necessary for infrastructure development.

Building consensus through stakeholder engagement helps to mitigate political risks associated with the projects.


In conclusion, project financing challenges in the land and water resources sector are not unique but can be overcome.

The true financing model for natural resource projects should address the unique risks in the industry, including constraints, revenue, and contractual mechanisms.

Time and resources must be invested in overcoming these challenges to attract more investment and support in developing countries.

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