Mamady Youla resigns from the General Management of SMFG

The Iron Ore Company of Guinea (SMFG) has suffered a major defection. Mamady Youla, who was previously its CEO, announced his resignation on November 1, 2022, after three years of service.

The former prime minister made the announcement through a Facebook post

"It is with sadness that I announce that, after discussions with the management of High Power Exploration (HPX), the majority shareholder of the Société des Mines de Fer de Guinée (SMFG), which I have had the pleasure of managing as Chief Executive Officer since December 2019, we have decided by mutual agreement to end our collaboration as of today, November 1, 2022," said Mamady Youla, explaining that this decision was due to the "deterioration of relations" between SMFG and the Ministry of Mines and Geology.

"If the difficult context that SMFG and HPX have been going through for several months in the development of the Nimba Project is among the reasons that led to this decision, the main reason that led me to consider my departure resides in the fact that for several months it was no longer possible for me to do my job as CEO of SMFG, as the relations with the supervisory authority (Ministry of Mines) had deteriorated to such a level that it was no longer possible to consider any solution other than separation".

Société des Mines de Fer de Guinée holds mining rights for the exploiation of the Mount Nimba iron deposit located in the prefecture of Lola in the south-east of Guinea. In its mining convention, it is planned to export the iron through Liberia. Since 2019, negotiations with the Liberian authorities have been dragging on and the road to the export of the first ton of iron remains full of obstacles.

Faced with the slowdown in negotiations, SMFG's general management asked a large number of its employees to stay home last October. This decision was not to the liking of the Inspector General of Labor, Mamadou Saliou Diallo, who ordered SMFG to suspend this decision.

In any case, are the reasons given above by the former Prime Minister the real reasons for his departure? What impact will Mamady Youla's departure have on the development of the SMFG project?

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