February 5, 2019 / 11:55 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-Equatorial Guinea to launch first mining license round in April

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CAPE TOWN, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Equatorial Guinea, known mainly for its oil and gas sector, will officially launch the country’s first mining license bid round on April 1, the mines and oil minister said on Tuesday.

Minister Gabriel Obiang Lima was speaking on the sidelines of a mining conference in Cape Town where an online portal went live to provide potential investors with a database of exploration for minerals ranging from gold, bauxite and diamonds.

Equatorial Guinea, which earns most of its foreign exchange from its hydrocarbons industry, is keen to diversify its economy to better deal with global crude price volatility.

“For us this is historical, its the first time we are going to organise and event like this for the mining industry,” Obiang Lima told Reuters.

“We heavily invested in infrastructure, so we have the roads, the electricity, the port,” he said, adding this would support the mining sector.

Equatorial Guinea said it expects to sign all the mining exploration contracts at the end of July. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf Editing by James Macharia)

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