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Guinea Bissau
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Mining in Guinea-Bissau is limited to small-scale production of construction materials, such as clays, granite, limestone, and sand and gravel. No mining operations are underway in Guinea Bissau and no mineral products are produced or exported. However, potential exists for bauxite, diamond, gold, heavy minerals, petroleum, and phosphate rock.

Red Back Mining Inc. through its subsidiary Champion Industrial Minerals (CIM) held a mining lease for the Farim phosphate deposit, which was located about 100 km northeast ofBissau. After completing a technical and market evaluation of the Farim phosphate deposit, the company concluded in 2003 that the project had advanced to a stage where it required a level of developmental, operational, and marketing expertise that was beyond CIM's capacity; since that time, the company has attempted to either locate a suitable partner to develop the Farim deposit or to sell it. The company was unsuccessful in both endeavors and, in 2005, continued to keep the Farim project on care and maintenance status. The Farim phosphate rock deposit had estimated resources of more than 166 Mt at a grade of 29% P2O5.

Champion has also embarked on a diamond exploration project in the far eastern parts of the country. According to Champion, the potential for locating kimberlites appear promising.

Potential bauxite deposits occur at Boe, west of the capital Bissau. The Russians previously carried out work on this deposit, outlining a reserve base of 500 Mt of bauxite with an average grade of 47% Al2O3 and 5% SiO2. Poor infrastructure could hamper the development of these bauxite and phosphate deposits.

Mineral Law & Legislation

A new Mines and Minerals Act (1997) was introduced in the Legislature. This act is designed to protect the interests of both the exploration/mining companies and the people and government of Guinea Bissau. The act applies to all activities of the mining industry (reconnaissance, prospecting, exploration, extraction, general works, processing, transportation, commercial production and commercialization) regarding all mineral substances except petroleum. Significant features of this act include:

  • All minerals are owned by the state and all Mining Rights to these minerals are vested by the President (through the Ministry of Rural Development, Natural Resources and Environment) on behalf of the Republic of Guinea Bissau.
  • The legislation is to be applied equally to Guinea Bissauans and foreigners except for the provisions relating to artisanal mining and exploration of construction minerals which are reserved for Guinea Bissau nationals alone.
  • No royalty tax shall be paid except to the Government of the Republic of Guinea Bissau, except under the Artisanal Mining Permit.
  • Exemption of customs duties on all machinery and equipment used in Prospecting or Mining activities, as long as the equipment is used for these purposes.

A summary of licensing types is outlined in the following table:

The Ministry of Energy and Mines was established in 1993, and is governs the Mining industry in Guinea Bissao. It is the authority responsible for granting mining licenses to companies willing to exploit and conduct mining operations in the country.

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