Libya on verge of investing in Guinea-Bissau mining ventures

31 July 2007

Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, 31 July – Libya has around US$ 4 billion available to invest in mining projects in Guinea-Bissau, government sources in the West African state have said.

A Bissau government source, speaking on conditions of anonymity, told the Lusa news agency Monday that the funds have been mobilized by the Libya Africa Investments Portfolio (LAP) and will fund bauxite mining ventures in the eastern region of Boe, where geological studies point to significant deposits of this mineral.

Libyan funds would also be used to build a railway linking Guinea with Mali and eventually Burkina Faso, as well as construction of a hydroelectric dam at Saltinho in eastern Guinea and a port in the southern region of Buba, added the same source.

Tripoli’s funds could also be used to create a Free Zone in Buba, close to Guinea’s border with Guinea-Conakry.

The unidentified Bissau government source said Libya’s readiness to fund development projects in the county is considered in Bissau as being a direct response to a request made by Guinean President João Bernardo Vieira to his Libyan counterpart, Muammar Ghaddafi.

The two leaders signed a range of accords in May for Libya to fund projects in Guinea’s public works, farming, transport, trade and hotel sectors.

LAP, based in Switzerland, has expressed interest to the Bissau authorities in advancing with development projects.

Libyan interests bought Guinea’s main hotel in 2005 and Tripoli said at the time that it intended to develop sugar cane plantations in the Biombo region near Bissau. (macauhub)