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Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire)

The Committee took note of the information supplied by IUCN concerning the Mount Nimba mining project and the fact that this project, according to IUCN, would threaten the intrinsic value and integrity which had justified the inscription of this property on the World Heritage List. The IUCN General Assembly, which had just ended in Australia, adopted a resolution urging the Guinean authorities not to allow this project and to implement a development plan for the region which would insure the protection of the site.

The Guinean observer confirmed the Guinean Government's intention to mine iron-ore at this site and noted that the prospect of such mining had always been clearly understood, even at the time this property was inscribed on the World Heritage List. He indicated, however, that the mining area covered only 800 ha and was actually located outside the boundaries of the World Heritage Site, and that its impact on this site would be minimized in accordance with the results of an impact study which would be announced shortly. The Guinean observer also added that the mining operations would provide jobs for the many refugees whose presence on the site now present a threat to its integrity.

The Committee requested the Secretariat to ask the Guinean authorities in writing to confirm, by means of appropriate cartographic documentation, that the mining project is indeed located outside the site inscribed on the World Heritage List; the Committee also requested the Bureau to reexamine this issue at its next session, in the light of the said documentation.

The Committee also wished to ask the two States Parties which have business interests directly involved in the mining project, namely U.S.A. and France, to examine whether Article 6.3 of the World Heritage Convention might apply to this undertaking.