Valorising Riches Underneath

The Presidential Decree of 14th December, 2020 creating the National Mining Corporation otherwise referred to as SONAMINES came like a pleasant surprise carrying with it an embodiment of an imminent economic leverage for the country. The new structure is assigned with the task of developing and promoting the mining sector in Cameroon outside hydrocarbons and quarry materials on behalf of the State.  According to the decree, SONAMINES will have as duty to among others spearhead the inventory of Cameroon’s minerals, conduct studies on the exploration, development  and marketing of mining substances, promote mineral processing, and carryout all commercial, industrial, capital, real estate and financial transactions directly or indirectly linked to its corporate purpose or that can foster its development. The new corporation will equally acquire shares in companies involved in the exploration, exploitation, marketing, treatment and processing of mineral substances through contributions, sponsorship, subscriptions, purchase of corporate securities and/or rights and joint ventures.

The creation of a whole corporation to handle mining activities in Cameroon has in effect come of age considering the cacophony that had since characterized the sector. Cameroon’s extractive industry has gone through a medley of trials without any lasting solution given to it. The interesting thing to know is that there was already significant industrial mining activity in the years that preceded World War II, notably with focus on gold mining and a few others that contributed almost12 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Cameroon in 1939. During World War II, it surpassed 20 per cent of the GDP, but once the war was over, mining activity decreased and by 1950 it only contributed 2-3 per cent of the GDP. Since independence, the only mining that has taken place is small-scale, artisanal mining, most of which is concentrated in the East region of the country. The nation’s attention turned to oil extraction by 1977 leading up to the 80s when the country registered a boom in oil production. But the turn of things went sour beginning 1990 when production took a rather nose dive. 

To say the least, too much concent...



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