Miami, United States — MININGREVIEW.COM — 11 March 2011 – The recently elected government of Guinea is revising the West African nation’s mining code for the first time in 16 years, and recent reports that it was seeking a 33% stake in mined assets were taken out of context.
Guinea’s democratically elected government took over last November and is reviewing the mining code to see how the government can increase participation in mined resources. Rumours have been swirling around the mining and exploration industry about what the new code will include.
Morcire Sylla “’ advisor to Guinea’s mining minister and president of the country’s Geological Engineering Society “’ said the 33% participation rate was not a hard and fast plan, merely a number tossed out by President Alpha Conde.
“It was just a proposal from the President. He just said, Why not? But it is not definite, it’s just an idea,” Sylla told Reuters on the sidelines of Metal Bulletin’s Bauxite and Alumina Seminar here. “It has to be discussed first. That’s why I advised at everyone to be at the seminar in May,” he added.
He explained that from May 10 to 12 the government was planning a mining symposium in Conakry for industry constituents.
Sylla said the government hoped to present proposed revisions to the mining code at that gathering to solicit input from investors, including mining and exploration companies.
The government is becoming more rigorous in its application of licensing terms, and under current law, Guinea has, in some cases, not only been excluded from profits, but has had to pay companies that mine its resources.
“There are problems with the code we are reviewing. For bauxite and iron ore, the government doesn’t have a right to participate,” said Sylla. “For gold and diamonds, the government has a right to a 15% share in the assets, he added. “Now, we want to do the same for bauxite and iron ore as with gold and diamonds. The problem is how to do that in a way with which everyone can agree.”