Gold mining at Ity and Afema is the country’s main mining activity. Diamond mines, at Tortiya and Seguela, produce about 15,000 carats a year. Iron ore reserves are estimated to be 3000 millions tons, bauxite reserves 1200 million tons and manganese reserves 35 million tons.
Falconbridge had submitted a study on the $US 1 billion Touba-Biakouma nickel and cobalt project, where it is a partner with Trillion Resources, recommending measures the government needs to take to make the project viable. The indicated ore reserves are 225 million tons grading 1.5% nickel and 0.1% cobalt. An estimated 5.6 million tons of ore a year yielding 45,000 tons of nickel and 3,400 tons of cobalt will be mined from the deposits in the west of the country, near Guinea, and in the Nimba mountains and transported by rail or slurry pipeline for processing on the coast at San Pedro. Processing will be completed in Norway.
Carnegie Minerals of Australia has joined the state mining company Sodemi on a 1,000 square kilometres exploration licence near Bobi in the Seguela region and will finance $US 400,000 of exploration mainly for diamonds. Carnegie will have an option on acquiring 65% in any development project, with Sodemi retaining 25% and the government 10% if the option is taken up.
Sodemi has three other 1,000 square kilometres properties to explore for diamonds 100 km west of Lake Kossou near the village of Pelezi; for copper and nickel near Samapleu; and for gold and base metals near Tienko, in the north western tip of the country.
The country has rich deposits of iron ore and manganese which have yet to be developed.
The introduction of a new mining code eliminates the necessity to joint venture with the state mining company except where it has previously established rights.
The industry is regulated by the Ministry of Mines and Energy. The current Minister of Mines and Energy is HE Mohammed Lamine Fadika.