The administrative court of Guyana on Thursday, December 24 ordered the state to extend “Within six months” mining concessions, keystones of the controversial mining project known as the Montagne d’Or in French Guiana. He thus “Canceled” the implicit refusal of the Ministry of the Economy to extend these concessions.
Relying on the overrun of the regulatory two-year instruction period, Bruno Le Maire had implicitly rejected, on January 21, 2019, the renewal for twenty-five years of the mining concessions of the Compagnie Montagne d’Or (CMO), bringing then legally a halt to the largest primary gold mining project ever proposed in France, led by the Russian-Canadian consortium Nordgold-Columbus Gold.
Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Guyana: in the face of criticism, the “Montagne d’Or” mine project has been partially corrected
“Lack of serious dispute”
The administrative court considered that CMO “Presents sufficient elements justifying its technical and financial capacities to exploit the concessions”. Justice also underlined the “Lack of serious dispute” by Mr. Le Maire, to justify his implicit rejection.
The concessions (with an area of 40 km2) are located in the municipalities of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni and Apatou, in the middle of the forest, between two reserves with high biodiversity value. In the next few years, the company plans to mine and process an 85-tonne gold deposit using closed-circuit cyanidation.
Read also Mountain of gold: environmentalists denounce a double talk
During the hearing on December 3, the public rapporteur noted, in this dispute, the ” weakness “ and the absence of “Relevance” State arguments to justify its refusal. It’s a “Difficult point of the file” who is not “Not for the benefit of the administration”, added the public rapporteur.