Central African Republic's mining revenue doubles

Mining revenues in CAR almost doubled between 2008 and 2010, but remain a small part of government income.

The government's income from the mining sector in the Central African Republic (CAR) almost doubled between 2008 and 2010. Despite being a leading producer of diamonds, this income remains a small part of total government revenues, according to the country's latest EITI Report.

CAR's fourth EITI Report released in December 2012, discloses that the government received over US $21 million in taxes, fees and royalties from operators in the mining sector in 2010, up from US $12 million in 2008.

Mining revenues contributed to 2.8% of GDP (2006-2011), according to figures from the African Economic Outlook. Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry, remains the backbone of the economy at 55.2%, according to the same source.

The production of diamonds, gold and other minerals in CAR is currently done entirely by artisanal miners.  This yielded only US $740,000 in revenues for the government in 2010, whilst Buying Houses and Import-Export Companies that buy and market minerals from artisanal miners contributed a further US $15,000 to the government budget.

The largest share of the payments is made by industrial mining companies which are in the exploration phase or just holding their concessions for future development. For instance, the annual special payment by French uranium miner Areva of US $8 million alone made up 40% of total payments to the CAR government in 2010.

While CAR is the 14th largest producer of diamonds worldwide, in 2010 artisanal miners officially produced only 60 kilos of gold. The country suffers from illegal exploitation and exports across porous borders. CAR is landlocked and suffers from poor in energy supply which stands in the way of industrial production.@

To learn more about EITI in the Central African Republic, please visit www.eiti.org/CentralAfricanRepublic

Photo: Superviser watching artisanal miners digging for gold in Boda, CAR in 2009. By Tim Bittiger, EITI Secretariat