The government of Guinea has announced plans to export half of miners’ output in a push to exert more control over the lifeblood of its economy.
Government spokesman Ousmane Gaoual Diallo made the announcement and said the country which is a top bauxite exporter has a law that gives it the right to ship 50% of mining companies’ exports, but it hadn’t put it into effect until now.
This will now be exercised directly or through an entity acting on behalf of the state, Diallo said. “The implementation will be done in accordance with international best practices,” he said without specifying how logistics would be handled.
Guinea has been expanding government control over its mining sector since President Mamadi Doumbouya seized power in a Sept. 5 coup. Friday’s announcement comes after Doumbouya suspended mining operations at Simandou, one of the world’s largest untapped iron ore deposits, to force miners to agree on an infrastructure financing plan and provide clarification on how Guinea would benefit.
Despite endemic levels of poverty, the West African nation vies with Australia as China’s largest supplier of bauxite, a reddish ore used to make aluminum. Ismael Diakite, president of Guinea’s mining chamber, which brings together the country’s miners, including a Rio Tinto Plc unit, China-backed Societe Miniere de Boke, didn’t immediately answer calls requesting comment.