Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Guinea's anti-corruption activists raise doubts over mining crackdown

The Guardian: ... government figures convened investors at a hotel in London last month to promote the merits of doing business in the west African country. At the heart of efforts to attract investors are reforms to the mining code, and the creation of a committee to re-evaluate all 18 mining contracts and make recommendations for some to be renegotiated. "We are making an in-depth assessment of the contracts. If there are some imbalances, our mandate is to negotiate with the mining companies in order to regulate them," says Nava Touré, president of the committee. But the review has come under criticism from all sides. Mining companies – many of which are watching the criminal investigation of BSG Resources (BSGR), which is accused of using bribery to obtain concessions – are nervous about the prospect of scrutiny and dubious about being asked to renegotiate legally binding contracts. Anti-corruption activists say the process lacks teeth and depends on the goodwill of companies to renegotiate the terms of mining deals, something the government admits...

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