Guinea launches mining contract review

CONAKRY,  (Reuters) – Guinea will launch a nationwide  review of mining contracts to root out “unconscionable  provisions” granted by previous rulers, and has toned down  Chinese involvement in the resource sector, Mines Minister  Mohamed Lamine Fofana told Reuters.

The move comes after the West African state, the world’s top  supplier of the aluminum ore bauxite and whose iron ore reserves  have drawn billions of dollars in investments, passed a new  mining code that more than doubles the state share in projects.

“If by defending the interests of the country people think  we are being protectionist, well then I agree,” Fofana told  Reuters in an interview late on Monday.

“Now I plan to clean up the mining sector and will conduct a  review to remove unconscionable provisions in certain contracts  and ensure we have balance and fairness,” he said. Guinea held its first free elections late last year bringing  President Alpha Conde to power and ending nearly two years of  military rule during which authorities signed several  high-profile mining accords.

Fofana said that the government had overturned an agreement  by the military government to give secretive investment group  China International Fund the rights to all of Guinea’s  unexploited resources — a deal reportedly worth $7 billion.

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