One of West Africa’s most stable political jurisdictions has unveiled an ambitious program that prioritises diversification and exports of its natural resources as the country strives to become an “emerging country” within the next two decades. Addressing the first day in Perth last week of the Paydirt 2015 Africa Down Under Conference, Republic of Senegal Minister for Industry and Mines, Hon Aly Ngouille Ndiaye, said Senegal plans to exploit its mining potential to ensure the emergence of industries structured around its resources.
Ndiaye said the Government had developed the Emerging Senegal Plan or Plan Senegal Emergent (PSE) which aimed to increase the productivity of Senegal’s economy in the public and private sectors.
“Our option is to favour a better sharing of wealth through the implication of the national private sector in the exploitation and the implementation of contracts, and a regulatory framework protecting the interests of the country,” he said.
The PSE’s strategic axes are:
- Improvement of the legal and fiscal framework of the mining sub-sector, which includes a review of the mining code and the convention model
- Improvement of the institutional frame of the mining sub-sector, which includes training and capacity building
- Update of the geological data and information – increase of geologic researches essentially for the reconstitution of the deposits reserves in exploitation and the discovery of new deposits
- Transparency to insure a better visibility of the impact of the mining industry on the state economy and so the traceability of incomes generated by the mining industry justify our membership to the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI)
- Fight against the illegal artisanal gold mining – action plan validated and orders are taken to complete the mining regulations for this purpose.
Ndiaye said the mining sector occupied a special place in the plan and was one of six “priority sectors” retained to carry a forecast growth rate of 7% over the next 10 years. This included objectives – “on the horizon 2023” – to produce annually:
- Between 15 and 20 Mt of iron ore
- 2.5 Mt of phosphates and 3 Mt of phosphoric acid
- 17 t of gold corresponding to the trebling of the current production and 90,000 t of zircon.
“Senegal is trying to strengthen the contribution of the mining sector in the state economy in order to boost sustainable economic growth, contribute significantly to the poverty reduction and give a bigger focus to incomes generated by the mining industry,” Ndiaye said.
Teranga Gold is a Canadian-based gold mining company which operates the Sabodala gold mine, the only gold mine and mill in Senegal, shown here.