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West African Nations Crack Down On ‘’Inactive’’ Miners

Interesting concurrence of events the past week. With not one, but two countries announcing plans for major overhauls in the mining sector.

Those are the West African nations of Guinea and Burkina Faso. Which said in separate statements they are going to pull the plug of hundreds of mining licenses across both countries.

The target in both Guinea and Burkina Faso will be unused mineral licenses. With the governments saying that numerous permits awarded over the last few years are not being used for exploration or production.

Officials now hope to change that. By stripping inactive permits from owners, and looking to offer them to new applicants. Related: Oil Speculators Run Out Of Reasons To Bet On Rising Prices

Guinea said that in preparation for this shuffle, the government has already voided 142 inactive licenses. Including licenses held by mining major BHP Billiton for bauxite in the west of the country.

For its part, Burkina Faso published a list of 356 permits that it plans to make available for leasing.

Industry sources said these moves haven’t been a particularly contentious event. With license holders reportedly having been notified in advance of the intent to re-take the permits — presumably giving them a chance to challenge for any ground still desired. Related: $120 Oil As Soon As 2018?

Rather, it appears this is simply an attempt by these governments to overhaul inefficient record-keeping with regard to licenses. Which could be a welcome move for the exploration sector — opening up numerous opportunities in both countries.

Guinea noted that the 142 permits to be offered cover a variety of target commodities, including bauxite, gold, diamonds and uranium. Meaning parties interested in such markets should keep an eye out here. Related: Advantage U.S. In The Global Petroleum Showdown?

Burkina Faso didn’t provide details on its licenses — but the major target here is likely to be gold. And possibly very significant targets, given the presence of big deposits of the yellow metal already established in the country.

Watch for more details from both governments on permits being offered, and the application process.

Here’s to cleaning up,

Dave Forest

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