In the ongoing negotiations over the Simandou iron ore project, Conakry is primarily focused on infrastructure for the mine. One company developing the deposit, Rio Tinto, is however pushing to make progress on other fronts.
Moussa Magassouba, appointed head of the Guinean Ministry of Mines and Geology after the September 2021 coup, coordinates the beating heart of Guinean economy. However, he has been subject to frequent criticism from both civil society organisations and members of the government.
In less than a year, the level of British government funding in Guinea has been lowered by three quarters as a result of Boris Johnson's government's decision to reduce development aid. The UK is still trying to defend its interests in the country, but is finding it difficult.
The Conakry authorities' order to the Simandou operators to suspend all activity on the ground until the details of the project's progress have been clarified comes as Rio Tinto is in the process of recruiting and conducting studies on the Guinean iron ore project.
Having arrived in power after staging a coup against Alpha Condé, Mamady Doumbouya has now put the finishing touches to his government. But the mining portfolio, the most important in the country, has been divested of some its key prerogatives, ensuring that the junta leader remains in firm control of the engine room of the Guinean economy.