On March 24, 2014, the President of Côte d’Ivoire, His Excellency Allasane Ouattara promulgated the Law No. 2014-138 on the Mining Code adopted by the National Assembly on March 5, 2014. The New Mining Code amends and replaces the Law n°95-553 of July 18, 1995 on Mining Code.
Traditionally, the Ivorian mining sector was only a minor contributor to the GDP in comparison to the agriculture sector. The Government of His Excellency Alassane Ouattara launched a strategy to diversify its economy and mining is considered as a central pillar of this strategy to promote and accelerate the development of the national economy. In March 2012, Côte d'Ivoire launched a reform process to amend its 1995 Mining Code in order to increase foreign investment in its mining sector, but also to modernize and adapt its legal, custom and tax framework to regional and international standards and rules (African Mining Vision, West African Economic and Monetary Union, Economic Community of West African States) as well as to meet the expectations of the Government, the national population and the local communities. After many discussions between representatives of the Government, the mining industry and the civil society, the New Mining Code was finally adopted by the National Assembly on March 5, 2014.
The authors, Emery Mukendi Wafwana, Jonathan van Kempen and Linda Gieskes, attorneys at Emery Mukendi Wafwana & Associates, present in the attached document an overview and preliminary analysis of the New Mining Code of Côte d’Ivoire. This preliminary analysis is an objective review of the strengths and weaknesses of the New Mining Code. It systematically reviews and goes into the fundamental principles, the legal regime of mining activities (mining prospecting exploration and exploitation), the tax, custom and change framework, the provisions related to settlement of disputes as well as the transitory provisions of the New Mining Code.
While making some innovations for improving transparency, good governance, development of local communities as well as local capacity building, the New Mining Code, however, introduced some provisions that are likely to affect the security of mining titles which will need to be taken into account and to the extent possible, be adjusted by the future implementing measures. In addition, many issues are not solved by the New Mining Code, which either does not address them at all or refers them to the implementing measures.
This analysis of the New Mining Code is only a preliminary review. All the strengths and weaknesses of the mining legislation of Côte d’Ivoire will only be assessed once the implementation measures as well as the mining convention model have been adopted. The authors will continue to monitor the reform of the mining sector of Côte d’Ivoire.