The president of the Republic of Guinea decreed last week that miners who produce over a certain amount of bauxite ore “will be obliged to build an alumina plant.” President Alpha Condé made the remarks in speech at recent mining conference in Guinea’s capital Conakry.
Condé spoke at last week’s Symposium Mines Guinea, the largest mining event in West Africa. Though the event’s theme was “The Mining Sector: The Key To Transforming The National Economy For The Benefit Of All Actors,” Condé made waves by immediately and publicly objecting to the premise.
“I apologize, I will start by showing that I do not agree with the minister,” opined Condé. “I have already said that mines can not be the lever for the development of Guinea. We are not in control of commodity prices whose prices are set in London, Washington or Montreal.”
Condé continued by stressing the role he sees for his country’s natural resources in its continuing industrialization. He said the country’s mining sector is “a means of transforming the economy to the benefit of other economic sectors, social sectors and infrastructure development,” necessitating economic reforms to sweeten the country’s business landscape in the eyes of international investors.
He went on to say that, though progress has been made, a great deal of reforms still beckon before the country’s mining sector is ready for prime time. “We have recovered over 800 licenses because if there are people who are licensed, they have the right to keep the license for two years and renew once,” Condé explained. “However, we found that ten years later, they did not even know where the mine was, whereas in the meantime, they allowed them to play in stock exchanges.”
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