Côte d’Ivoire has expressed interest in buying Belarusian mining equipment. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to Nigeria with concurrent accreditation to Côte d’Ivoire Vyacheslav Bril met with Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Energy of Côte d’Ivoire Mamadou Coulibaly, BelTA.
The parties discussed cooperation prospects in the petrochemical industry, namely oil exploration and production, and the safety of oil pipelines. Mamadou Coulibaly said that Côte d’Ivoire would like to purchase Belarus-made mining equipment and to set up maintenance centers for this machinery.
Mining in Côte d’Ivoire
Traditionally known for cocoa production, Cote d’Ivoire’s other natural resources remain underdeveloped. The country’s main ASM products are gold, nickel, diamonds and coltan, other minerals such as manganese and silver are also produced.
The mining sector in Cote d’Ivoire is dynamic and saw a 16.5% rise in revenue in 2016. Most of the gold is extracted from 4sites, in: Ity, Angovia, Bonikro and Tongon. Gold is the most exploited mineral in Cote d’Ivoire, its production reached 23,5 tons in 2015 but mining activities in the sector is dominated by large scale mining but this does not include industrial processing. Nonetheless there is a big potential for value addition through mineral processing and diversification.
Cote d’Ivoire is West Africa’s biggest GDP contributor accounting and according to the IMF (2017) has Africa’s fastest growing economy. The country holds one of the most favorable mining codes on the continent but despite the potential of ASM the industry has not beneficiated from any direct assistance and is considered a hindrance to the economy and over 400 artisanal sites were closed over the past years. In some regions ASM overlaps with agriculture where a reduction in cocoa plantations due to mining is recorded. The major regions targeted due to their informality were Bounkani and Gontougo.