Suspicion of fraud in the construction of a gold refinery in Guinea

The Italian company, Clessidra Investissements, recently announced on its website that it had reached an agreement with the Guinean State to build a gold refinery in the vicinity of Conakry airport. However, this announcement is particularly surprising, given that the bid evaluation committee has not yet been set up, the Terms of Reference (TOR) are not yet available, and the tender has not even been launched. This is in violation of the decree of the President of the Transition dated January 23, 2023.

According to articles 1 and 5 of this decree, the call for tenders must be transparent and the bid evaluation commission must be set up by order of the Minister. This announcement by Clessidra Investissements therefore suggests that there is some kind of trickery going on at the Ministry of Mines and Geology. Clessidra Investments is an Italian company specializing in investments in various economic sectors, including mining. The company focuses on projects with high growth potential on an international scale.

A 25-year agreement

As a matter of fact, the Italian company has already announced the construction of the gold refinery; the duration of the agreement signed with the Guinean state is 25 years. In addition, the company will benefit from a 20% delegation of the National Geology Laboratory for gold analysis and testing, while the security of the refinery's activities will be ensured by the national gendarmerie.

On the ground, work has already begun in the Gbessia airport area, under the close surveillance of a team of law enforcement officers. All this suggests that the Italian company has entered into this agreement illegally, bypassing the required regulatory procedures.

This situation is of great concern because it raises questions about the transparency of contracting processes and the government's ability to enforce public procurement rules and regulations. The relevant authorities should take prompt action to investigate this matter and ensure transparency in the awarding of contracts.

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