Guinea’s new Prime Minister, Dr. Bernard Goumou, meets with miners operating in the country

This Wednesday, August 31, 2022, the Prime Minister of Guinea met with representatives of mining companies operating in the country. The objective was to reiterate to the mining operators the will of the Guinean Government to reach a win-win partnership with them for the good of both parties. The Prime Minister was surrounded by the Minister of Mines and Geology, Moussa Magassouba, and many other ministers, including the Delegate Minister for Defense, the Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and the Digital Economy. Also present at the meeting were Colonel Balla Samoura, High Commander of the National Gendarmerie and Director of Military Justice, and the Governor of the Central Bank of the Republic of Guinea.

Speaking on behalf of his mining peers, Ismael DIAKITE, President of the Chamber of Mines of Guinea, recalled the assurance that had been given to investors in the aftermath of the coup d'état of September 5, 2021 by the transitional authorities, through the first measures taken, including the commitment to respect the agreements and conventions signed by Guinea, the relaxation for the mining areas of the curfew measures that were in force, the reopening of maritime and land borders for mining operations, etc. He recalled the positive signal that these measures had sent to the miners. He then reassured the guinean authorities that the miners will favorably respond to their call and comply with the laws and institutions of the Country.

The Minister of Mines and Geology, Moussa Magassouba, for his part, recalled the measures taken with regard to the mining sector, including the progressive reorganization of the mining cadastre, the application of the provisions of the Mining Code (mainly in its Article 138) relating to the marketing of mining production, the conclusion and signing of the framework agreement for the development of the Simandou project (iron ore mining projects on Mount Simandou, led by the Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto and the Chinese-Singaporean Winning Consortium Simandou), the launch of refinery construction projects in the country, the adoption of a reference price for bauxite, the pooling of mining infrastructure, the rigorous monitoring of local content, and the control of the quantities of bauxite exported thanks to the presence of mining inspectors at the mineral ports.

Dr. Bernard Goumou, Prime Minister (since the departure of Mohamed Béavogui) reaffirmed Guinea's willingness to respect all the commitments, conventions and agreements to which it has subscribed. He recalled that together, the Government and the miners will make the projects tangible realities. The Government, under the leadership and determination of Colonel Doumbouya, reassures its willingness to foster a favorable business climate in the country.

He also praised the contributions of mining companies to community development and invited them to work to strengthen harmonious cohabitation with local communities, the only guarantee of a social license to operate. He also invited them to protect, in their respective concessions, the agricultural zones so that the mining-agriculture tandem is a reality for a sustainable and inclusive development. Since mining areas are conducive to the spread of contagious diseases, he hopes that a common strategy will be found to improve the health of the populations living near the mining sites. He also invited the miners to respect the regulatory texts, particularly those relating to local content. A law on local content has been proposed by the Council of Ministers and will soon be submitted to the National Council of the Transition for adoption. He also recalled the obligation to domicile mining risks in Guinea, in accordance with the Insurance Code.

Through its voice, the Guinean government is committed to securing mining sites. This is why the government will work to structure artisanal gold and diamond mining in order to promote harmonious cohabitation between industrial and artisanal mining. He concluded his speech by asking the Minister of Mines and Geology to organize another meeting with the miners to discuss technical and regulatory issues.

Should we see in this meeting a real willingness of the Government to revitalize relations with actors of a sector whose contribution to the national budget is about 25% and the impact on the national economy significant?

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