JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Mauritania has many mining investment opportunities, with economic, social and political conditions conducive to the pursuit of developing a sector considered strategic by the country’s government, says Oil, Energy and Mines Minister Dr Mohamed Abdel Vetah.
He points out that the Mauritania government has instituted a mining policy aimed at ensuring a “mutually beneficial” balance, while safeguarding the interests of the nation and investors.
International mining companies with existing operational mines in the country include base metals producer First Quantum Minerals and gold major Kinross Gold, both of Canada. Several companies also have exploration licences and/or were recently granted mining licences in Mauritania, such as West Africa-focused gold explorer Algold Resources, iron-ore exploration joint venture Mauritania Saudi Mining and steel and uranium development company Aura Energy.
There is also State-owned mining company Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière de Mauritanie, which produces about 12-million tons of iron-ore a year. Moreover, at a recent meeting in Bogotá, Colombia, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) board agreed to assess the performance of its 51 implementing countries against the EITI standard and found Mauritania to have made “meaningful progress”.
The EITI is a global standard to promote open and accountable management by countries of the revenue generated from the extraction of natural resources. It is against this backdrop of increasing interest in Mauritania’s mineral resources wealth that privately owned Mauritanian mining exploration company Suricate Minerals is seeking about $4-million to develop its quartz, barite, lithium and gold projects.