The current end-of-year parliamentary session was also an opportunity for the government to present its bill for a new mining code. It was adopted in the National Assembly and the Senate. It is now awaiting promulgation. The previous code was only seven years old. It was adopted in 2016. But its implementing decree has never been published. In the meantime, at the end of 2020, Sonamines was created. There was therefore a need for a new text around this young National Mining Company.
As the interim Minister of Mines, Professor Fuh Calistus Gentry, explained to parliamentarians, this new code adopted in November “ places Sonamines at the center of mining activity “. To make it the only one competent for the purchase and marketing of gold and diamonds. And the essential contact for any production sharing.
Gold, diamonds, but also clay, limestone, iron or copper… Cameroon has significant, little-exploited resources. The map of research permit applications shows that all ten regions are concerned. But the sector’s contribution to national wealth remains low. A sector that is still predominantly artisanal. And informal.
Among the criticisms against this new mining code, the vice-president of the SDF party, the economist Louis-Marie Kakdeu, regrets the maintenance of a logic of centralization which does not sufficiently involve local authorities and a logic of exporting production in the form of raw materials. He believes that the text does not encourage local transformation and the development of an industry.
Justin Kamga, from the Foder association (Forests and rural development) deplores the lack of consultation of field stakeholders in the development of the code. He hopes that civil society will be able to join the Sonamines Board of Directors.