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French government appoints new mining delegate to French Guiana

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

Columbus Gold Corp. has announced that in September the French government appointed Didier Le Moine as the new mining delegate and coordinator of mining projects in French Guiana.

Le Moine, a mining engineer, formally held the position of Director of Industry, Mines and Energy in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia, where a nickel mining industry was successfully established.

Le Moine’s new mandate is to define, coordinate and implement actions for the development of a responsible mining industry in French Guiana that is compatible with France's ecological ambitions, is respectful of the populations and generates wealth and jobs for the territory.

Rock Lefrançois, Columbus’ President and CEO, commented: “As French Guiana’s leading gold explorer, Columbus embraces the French government’s initiative to appoint a capable delegate to develop and coordinate mining in French Guiana. French Guiana is endowed with mineral rich and prospective geology and the territory should benefit from the responsible development of these resources.”

Mining is French Guiana’s second largest industry, mainly driven by artisanal miners and a few local small to medium size companies. Declared annual production and the number of mining operators has declined in recent years and the territory is currently plagued by illegal activity under unacceptable environmental and human conditions, and without any benefit for the territory. With the arrival of an increasing number of recognised international mining companies and the recent rise in gold price, the territory can envision a new dynamic to implement a mining industry that is environmentally responsible, technically sound, economically efficient, socially integrated, respectful of working conditions and will be able to contribute to the development of the Guyanese population.

Le Moine’s mandate will require optimising existing structures such as the responsible mine charter and branch agreements, and create new ones, such as a technical support hub for the industry in the form of a National Technological Research Centre for gold mines, similar to the one created in 2007 for the nickel industry in New Caledonia. Also, he will need to facilitate the relations between project operators and all stakeholders (state and local governments, communes, populations, representatives of the first nations).

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