E/Guinea Announces Full Compliance with OPEC’s Production Cuts

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…Signs first five mining contracts

Equatorial Guinea has announced its compliance with OPEC production cuts obligations. The minister of hydro carbons, Mr. Mbaga Lima, said its compliance is under the record OPEC+ global oil cuts deal reached in April 2020 and which took effect on the 1st of May.

While announcing the compliance yesterday, the minister also paid tribute to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Algeria for going above and beyond their obligations and playing a substantial role in rebalancing the market.

“I believe that the solidarity of OPEC and OPEC+ members is key for our industry this year and as we enter a recovery phase. The agreement between OPEC and OPEC+ countries is the kind of leadership that our industry needs to navigate very uncertain waters and Equatorial Guinea will keep supporting such decisions and ensuring it is fully compliant with them,” he said

Meanwhile the country has signed five mining contracts with three different companies. It is the first mining contract in the history of the country, and follow the conclusion of the country’s first mining bidding round last year, EG Ronda 2019.

The agreements include one gold exploration contract in Block (I) with Manhattan Mining Investment Co; three prospecting contracts with Blue Magnolia Ltd in Block (B) for bauxite and precious metals, Block (K) for gold, and Block (H) for gold, uranium, iron, bauxite, basic metals and rare earth minerals; and finally one prospecting contract with Shefagold in Blocks (N) and (O) for platinum, palladium, silver, chrome, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, iron ore and related minerals.

“Mining is a key contributor to economic growth and jobs creation across West and Southern Africa, and we truly believe that it is time that Equatorial Guinea enters the race and starts developing its potential in minerals,” declared Mr. Gabriel Lima, minister of mines and hydrocarbon. He argued that the development of the hydro carbon industry is central to the government’s economic diversification agenda and is expected to create thousands of jobs in the future.

Earlier in this month, the country’s ministry of mines and Hydrocarbons published a new regulatory framework for mining operations, which applies to all exploration and exploitation activities by both foreign and local companies that wish to operate in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

The newly appointed contractors are expected to start exploration activities at the earliest in the Rio Muni area, which is highly prospective in minerals such as gold, diamonds, base metals, iron ore and bauxite.

The move notably aligns with Equatorial Guinea’s Economic Diversification Policy designed by the government following its second national economic conference, and follows the successful approval of the Mining Law by the national parliament.

Given Equatorial Guinea’s heavy reliance on hydrocarbons to support its economy, mining and minerals are seen as a key sector to diversify national output, increase revenue generation and create jobs.

Under the ongoing Year of Investment 2020 for instance, the ministry is promoting key projects in the mining minerals industry, notably including an industrial mining area with a gold refinery.

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja


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