Remi Piet talks about the unique situation faced by resources companies wishing to operate in French Guiana.
The department of French Guiana will likely benefit from an updated mining code set to be released in the summer, according to Remi Piet of Americas Market Intelligence.
“That should be supportive of mining in French Guiana,” said Piet, who has spoken to policymakers in France associated with the new document.
Piet also talked about the unique situation faced by resources companies wishing to operate in French Guiana and the levels of governance associated with the department.
“Being a European jurisdiction, (miners) have to see the operations in French Guiana as if (they) were operating a mine in another European country (rather than Latin America),” said Piet.
He explained that doing due diligence in the department involves four layers of decision making: firstly in Paris, where decisions are led by the administration of French President Emmanuel Macron, who is a noted supporter of mining projects in French Guiana.
Next, decisions pass through local politicians in French Guiana, and then through local communities. Piet said that in the case of French Guiana, outreach to local communities has not been done particularly well — so much so that large mining projects are at risk.
The fourth layer — and one of the trickiest — is the layer of bureaucrats posted to French Guiana from Paris, said Piet.
“They see their presence in French Guiana as a mission to protect biodiversity and to protect ecosystems, and they don’t have the consideration of long-term development of French Guiana,” he said. “I understand their position of trying to make a difference in the world by being environmentally minded, (but) it’s easy to say that for three to six years, then leave back to France and leave French Guiana in a state of underdevelopment.”
These bureaucrats still have to be understood and worked with, even if the local residents of French Guiana want development, said Piet.
Piet also talked at length about the impact of projects like Columbus Gold’s (TSX:CGT) Montagne d’Or project, which is 55 percent owned by Nordgold (LSE:NORD), and what investors should be thinking about when they look at investing in French Guiana.
Listen to the interview above for Piet’s full thoughts on the current situation in French Guiana.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Scott Tibballs, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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