Guinean mining sector healthy despite the coronavirus pandemic

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Conakry, Jan. 5, 2021  Guinea’s mining sector has withstood the coronavirus pandemic and electoral crises in the country throughout 2020, according to an official government document received by PANA.

In a study by the Ministry of Mines and Geology, entitled “Summary of the activities of the Ministry of Mines and Geology in 2020”, it emerges that priority objectives have produced results that can be attributed to the Five-Year Action Plan 2016-2020.

The prosperity of the mining sector, it is explained, is relative to a greater influx of investors, an intensification of exploitation activities and better follow-up of activities on the ground.

These include improved cadastral management, thanks to 66 applications for the renewal of research permits, 48 of which were processed; 33 applications for the extension of mining titles, 28 of which were processed; 51 applications for recognition authorizations, 51 of which were processed; and 36 applications for permanent quarrying authorizations, 36 of which were processed.

The study states that the improved investment framework in 2020 has contributed to increased investment commitments in the mining sector.

Thus, the Ministry of Mines highlights the signature of the Basic Convention between Guinea and the Winning Consortium Simandou Company for the exploitation of iron ore in blocks 1 and 2 of Simandou, in Forest Guinea (South); the signature of the convention between the State and the Chalco Company for the construction of an alumina plant in the prefecture of Boffa (Maritime Guinea); and the diversification of investment in integrated mining projects.

According to the document, the production of bauxite, which now exceeds 70 million tonnes, puts Guinea as the world’s highest bauxite producer behind Australia.

The National Bureau of Expertise states that for the diamond sector, total exports are 87,248.98 carats worth US$5.021 million.

“These non-exhaustive, but very symbolic results would not have been possible in this year of covid-19 without the foresight of the department,” the document states.

As soon as the first case of coronavirus appeared in the country, last March, the document recalls, the Ministry of Mines initiated consultations with mining companies and other actors in the sector in order to assess the risks to which the mining field is exposed and to identify the foreseeable impacts of this pandemic on the Guinean mining sector.

As part of the implementation of the measures identified in the sector, there has been, since last April, the reorganization of work and strict health safety measures at the level of all the Ministry’s structures with repercussions on mining companies, as well as the reassessment of bauxite and industrial gold production forecasts for the year 2020.

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