U.S., Guinea to work on transparency

June 17, 2013 at 6:55 AM

WASHINGTON, June 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. government said it will work with its counterparts in Guinea on transparency measures in the minerals and mining industry.

Guinea is the world leader in the production of bauxite, an aluminum ore, and one of the leading producers of iron ore. The country's mining sector generates more than 80 percent of its export revenue and 26 percent of gross domestic production.

The U.S. government said the economic significance of mineral resources means transparency and good governance are "critical" goals for the Guinean government.

The U.S. government said it would work closely with its Guinean partners on mineral transparency measures, including the Kimberly Process certification scheme to combat so-called conflict diamonds.

"Data gaps, uneven enforcement, limited technical capacity and regulatory deficiencies in the artisanal mining sector persist, and Guinea continues to serve as a reported transit point for conflict diamonds from neighboring countries to international markets," the U.S. government said last week.

In terms of oil and natural gas, the U.S. government said exploration is under way off Guinea, but no commercial discoveries have yet been made.

The European Union reached a similar agreement with Guinea's eastern neighbor, Ivory Coast, last week ahead of the economic summit for the Group of Eight.

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