In Guinea the new National Transitional Council has begun debating a mining code that proposes the government own a 35 percent stake in commodity companies. Rumors have it that the code recommends a free participation level of 15 percent for the government and the right to buy another 20 percent.
The debate is underway in the capital city of Conakry and the council has ten days to conclude the debate, council member Amadou Camara said. The code also supposedly proposes a minimum investment by companies of $1 billion before concessions will be awarded.
There is a likelihood of custom duties being increased on mining in the new mining code. Although previously granted mining rights may not be challenged. The government will also have an increased role in bauxite sales as per the proposed mining code.
Major mining companies which operate in Guinea and will be affected by the new mining code include Rio Tinto and Vale. They have interests in the Simandou iron ore complex. A statement in April mentioned that the new mining code review would not affect the agreement over the Simandou project.
The draft code also is intended to toughen the procedures for issuing development permits, while offering tax breaks and deductions to encourage more exploration. The country’s law making body must approve the code in the debate before it adopts it.
Richly endowed with minerals, Guinea possesses over 25 billion tonnes (metric tons) of bauxite – and perhaps up to one-half of the world's reserves. In addition, Guinea's mineral wealth includes more than 4-billion tonnes of high-grade iron ore, significant diamond and gold deposits, and undetermined quantities of uranium.