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The EITI Board agreed that Mauritania has made meaningful progress in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard, with considerable improvements.

Outcome of the Validation of Mauritania

Decision reference
2019-19 / BM-42
Decision basis
2016 EITI Standard, Requirement 8.3 EITI Validation deadlines and consequences

Board decision

The EITI Board agreed that Mauritania has partly addressed the corrective actions from the country’s first Validation. Consequently, Mauritania has made meaningful progress overall in implementing the EITI Standard, with considerable improvements across individual requirements.

The Board recognised Mauritania’s efforts to use EITI reporting as a diagnostic to drive reforms in the management of extractives licenses and state participation in the mining sector. Validation found that gradual improvements in the Multi-Stakeholder Group’s cohesion and oversight have ensured more effective oversight of EITI implementation by all three constituencies. The Board encouraged stakeholders to continue enhancing the dynamism of its dissemination, outreach and assessment of impact.

The Board welcomed ongoing efforts to ensure systematic disclosure of EITI data. The Board took note of these developments and looks forward to working together with Mauritanian stakeholders on these issues.

The Board determined that Mauritania will have 12 months, i.e. until 27 February 2020 before a third Validation to carry out corrective actions regarding license allocations (2.2), license register(s) (2.3) and review of outcomes and impact of implementation (7.4). Failure to achieve satisfactory progress across these individual requirements in the third Validation will result in suspension in accordance with the EITI Standard. In accordance with the EITI Standard, the MSG may request an extension of this timeframe, or request that Validation commences earlier than scheduled.

Corrective actions and strategic recommendations

The EITI Board agreed the following corrective actions. Progress in addressing these corrective actions will be assessed in a third Validation commencing on 27 February 2020:

  1. In accordance with requirement 2.2.a, the government should ensure annual disclosure of which mining, oil, and gas licenses were awarded and transferred during the year, highlighting the technical and financial requirements and any non-trivial deviations from the applicable legal and regulatory framework governing license awards and transfers. In accordance with requirement 2.3, the government should also ensure that the dates of application, commodities covered and coordinates for all oil, gas and mining licenses held by material companies are publicly available.

  2. In accordance with Requirement 2.6, Mauritania should ensure that a comprehensive list of state participation in the extractive industries, including terms associated with state equity and any changes in the year under review, be publicly accessible. Mauritania should also clarify the rules and practices governing financial relations between all SOEs, and their subsidiaries, and the state, including the existence of any loans or guarantees extended by the state, or SOEs, to extractives companies or projects.

  3. In accordance with requirement 7.4, the MSG should undertake and document its efforts strengthen impacts of EITI implementation on extractive sector governance, specifically on increasing engagement with stakeholders at the local level and extending the detail and scope of EITI reporting. The MSG should develop specific approaches to engage stakeholders outside of the MSG in soliciting their views, developing APRs, and reviewing the impact of EITI implementation. The MSG may wish to consider developing more formalised consultation mechanisms with mine-affected communities through established regional focal points.


Mauritania was accepted as an EITI Candidate in September 2007 and was designated as compliant with the EITI Rules in October 2010.  Mauritania was declared compliant to the 2011 EITI Rules on 15 February 2015. The first Validation of Mauritania against the EITI Standard commenced on 1 July 2016. On 11 January 2017, the EITI Board found that Mauritania had made meaningful progress in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard. Ten corrective actions were identified by the Board, as listed above. The Board encouraged Mauritania to address these corrective actions to be assessed in a second Validation commencing on 8 September 2018. 

Mauritania’s second Validation commenced on 8 September 2018. The EITI International Secretariat assessed the progress made in addressing the ten corrective actions established by the EITI Board. The Secretariat’s assessment is that Mauritania has addressed 6 of the 10 corrective actions and made “satisfactory progress” on the corresponding requirements. In addition, it has been established that one requirement was not applicable. Of the three remaining corrective actions, three are assessed as “meaningful progress with considerable improvements”, and one as “meaningful progress with no improvements. The draft assessment was sent to the Mauritania EITI MSG on 5 December 2018. MSG comments on the assessment, which broadly agreed with the assessment, were received on 27 December 2018. Having considered these comments, the assessment has been finalised for consideration by the EITI Board.

Scorecard for Mauritania: 2019

Assessment of EITI requirements

  • Not met
  • Partly met
  • Mostly met
  • Fully met
  • Exceeded
Scorecard by requirement View more Assessment View more

Overall Progress

MSG oversight

1.1Government engagement

The Government of Mauritania has made regular public statements of support for the EITI and a senior advisor to the Prime Minister leads day-to-day EITI implementation, with the authority and freedom to coordinate actions related to the EITI across relevant ministries and mobilise funding. High-level government officials participate in MSG meetings, government agencies participate in EITI reporting and the Ministry of Finance uses EITI Reports to monitor budget implementation.

1.2Company engagement

Companies are actively engaged in the design and implementation of the EITI, which has benefited from high-level participation from oil and gas companies in particular. There are no legal obstacles preventing company participation in the EITI process, with the Mining and Petroleum Codes providing an enabling environment for company participation in the EITI. However, companies could play a greater role in EITI dissemination and outreach to local communities.

1.3Civil society engagement

Civil society are somewhat engaged in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the EITI process. Participation of civil society representatives in the MSG has been uneven, due to capacity constraints that civil society has recognised and is addressing through its own code of conduct. There is an enabling environment for civil society participation in the EITI.

1.4MSG governance

The civil society constituency has agreed on criteria and procedures for the nomination of their representatives on the MSG, which are public and confirm the right of each constituency to appoint its own representatives. The industry constituency has agreed on eligibility criteria for their representation on the MSG, however there appears to be no clear selection procedures for industry representatives on the MSG. While these ad-hoc procedures do not have a negative impact on industry participation at this stage, it could be an issue in the future.

1.5Work plan

The 2018-2019 work plan objectives reflect national priorities for the extractive industries. While the civil society constituency has canvassed broadly in the preparation of the workplan, there is no evidence that industry representatives have sought inputs from the industry constituency more broadly (see Requirement 1.4 above).

Licenses and contracts

2.2License allocations

The 2014 EITI Report provided a comprehensive overview of the process followed for allocating two mining licenses awarded through competitive bidding and the general oil and gas license allocation statutory rules. However, it did not describe the process for transferring licenses in the mining, oil and gas sectors, nor the process for awarding the four licenses granted on a first-come-first served basis in 2014. A description of the technical and financial criteria used for direct negotiation of oil and gas PSCs was also missing.

2.3License register

The 2014 EITI Report provided the license-holder names and dates of award and expiry for all mining, oil and gas licenses as well as the dates of application, commodity covered and coordinates of some licenses, but not all. Despite ongoing reforms of the mining and petroleum cadastral systems, the EITI Report did not provide commentary on the status of reforms.

2.4Policy on contract disclosure

Through the 2015 EITI Report and the notes published subsequently by the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbon, the MSG has documented the government’s policy on disclosure of contracts and licenses that govern the exploration and production of oil, gas and minerals.

2.1Legal framework

The 2014 EITI Report describes the legal framework and fiscal regime governing the extractive industries, including the lack of fiscal devolution, an overview of the relevant laws and regulations, and information on the roles and responsibilities of the relevant government agencies. However, it appears that a number of reforms undertaken in 2013 and 2014 appear to be missing from the EITI Reports covering those respective years.

2.5Beneficial ownership

Not assessed

The MSG has considered beneficial ownership disclosure at several MSG meetings and has conducted initial work on disclosure of legal ownership information, but not the government’s policy, in the 2013 and 2014 EITI Reports.

2.6State participation

While the report describes the terms associated with the state’s free carried equity in mining companies, it does not detail the terms associated with state equity in other mining companies. Although the report states that there were no loans or guarantees, it notes the existence of a sovereign guarantee on a third-party loan to SNIM, without providing details of the terms of the loan guarantee (e.g. interest rate, tenor).

Monitoring production

3.1Exploration data

The 2014 EITI Report includes a detailed description of the extractive industries and of significant exploration activities. There does not appear to be significant informal activities in the extractive industries in 2014.

3.2Production data

The 2014 EITI Report provides production volumes and values for all of Mauritania’s mineral and oil production, disaggregated by commodity.

3.3Export data

The 2014 EITI Report provides export volumes and values for all of Mauritania’s exported mineral and oil commodities, disaggregated by commodity.

Revenue collection

4.3Barter agreements

Not applicable

The MSG has considered the existence of barter and infrastructure agreements and concluded that this requirement was not applicable to Mauritania in 2014.

4.6Direct subnational payments

Not applicable

The 2014 EITI Report incorrectly categorises three types of payments as direct subnational payments, as these payments were paid to the central government and earmarked for transfer to specific communes.


All reconciled financial data in the 2014 EITI Report was presented disaggregated by company, revenue stream and receiving government entity, although government unilateral disclosures were only disaggregated by company not by revenue streams.

4.9Data quality

In accordance with Requirement 4.9, the reconciliation of payments and revenues has been undertaken by an IA, appointed by the MSG, and applying international professional standards. The report includes an informative summary of the work performed by the IA and the limitations of the assessments provided. The report includes follow up on recommendations from past EITI Reports and Validation, as well as a set of new recommendations. Summary data tables have been published for the 2015 EITI Report.


The 2015 EITI Report provides, for both oil and gas and mining, a definition of the materiality thresholds for payments and companies to be included in reconciliation, including a justification for why the thresholds were set at these levels. The MSG was involved in setting the materiality thresholds for payments and for companies. The materiality of omissions from non-reporting companies is assessed and considered not to affect the comprehensiveness of the reconciliation. Full unilateral government disclosures of material revenues, including from non-material companies, was provided.

4.2In-kind revenues

The 2014 EITI Report confirmed the materiality of in-kind revenue in the oil and gas sector and disclosed volumes collected and sold as well as proceeds of sales. While it did not explicitly state that the state did not collect in-kind revenues in the mining sector, it provided a diagram of revenue flows that did not specify any in-kind revenues.

4.4Transportation revenues

Not applicable

The MSG has considered the existence of transport revenues and concluded this requirement was not applicable to Mauritania in 2014.

4.5SOE transactions

The 2014 EITI Report describes the role of SOEs operating in Mauritania and comprehensively disclosed and reconciled statutory financial transfers between SOEs and the government. While the 2014 EITI Report does not refer to any ad-hoc transfers from SOEs to the government in 2014, we understand that there were no such ad-hoc transfers in 2014.

4.8Data timeliness

Mauritania published its 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 EITI Reports within two years of the start of the fiscal year under review.

Revenue allocation

5.1Distribution of revenues

The 2015 EITI Report highlights the extractives revenue streams that are not recorded in the national budget and provides a general description of the management of these funds. Mauritania EITI has subsequently published an addendum from the FNRH with the fund’s general statutory asset allocation guidelines and the Cour des Comptes’ report on the FNRH as part of the 2015 budget execution report, which raises concerns over the lack of a clear asset allocation policy from the Ministry of Finance but adequately describes the allocation of FNRH assets in 2015.

5.2Subnational transfers

Not applicable

Despite ambiguities in the 2015 EITI Report regarding the existence of statutory subnational transfers, the MSG has followed up with relevant government entities and published addendums, including from the central bank, confirming the lack of subnational transfers in Mauritania.

5.3Revenue management and expenditures

Not assessed

The 2014 EITI Report provided limited information on earmarked revenues.

Socio-economic contribution

6.1Mandatory social expenditures

Not applicable

Although not explicitly stated in the 2014 EITI Report, we understand that mandatory social expenditures were not material in the mining, oil and gas sectors in 2014. The MSG has made efforts to include companies’ unilateral disclosures of voluntary social expenditures in the 2013 and 2014 EITI Reports.

6.2Quasi-fiscal expenditures

Not applicable

While the MSG appears to have considered the existence of quasi-fiscal expenditures and requested disclosures of such expenditures from the Treasury and SOEs, the 2014 EITI Report stated that there were no such expenditures in 2014. The MSG considered subtential expenditures by the SNIM foundation for local development as social, rather than quasi-fiscal, expenditures.

6.3Economic contribution

The 2014 EITI Report provided, in absolute and relative terms, the size of the extractive industries, their contribution to government revenue, exports and employment.

Outcomes and impact

7.2Data accessibility

Not assessed

Mauritania’s EITI data is available in machine readable format on the EITI global website, drawing on summary data tables completed by the national secretariat. However, these are not published on the EITI Mauritania website.

7.4Outcomes and impact of implementation

The 2017 annual progress report focused more on activities and outcomes than on impact. The report provided cursory details on follow up to recommendations and progress in meeting EITI requirements. Although there remains a lack of clarity around the impact of EITI implementation in Mauritania, there is no evidence that the MSG has prioritised its plans for undertaking a standalone impact assessment.

7.1Public debate

The MSG has sought to ensure that EITI Reports are accessible and contribute to public debate. Dissemination activities involving civil society groups, parliamentarians and the media appear to be effective in stimulating an informed debate about the management of the extractive sector within the capital. Dissemination of the findings in EITI reports and follow-up on the recommendations by the relevant government agencies has also given the EITI new momentum. However, accessibility of EITI data beyond Nouakchott remains weak. Stakeholders affected by mining activities in rural areas appear to be rarely reached by dissemination of EITI information and their voices are rarely heard at the central level, where all decisions about the sector are made.

7.3Follow up on recommendations

The MSG and the government have taken steps to act upon lessons learnt, to identify, investigate and address the causes of any discrepancies and weaknesses of the EITI process and to consider the recommendations for improvements from the Independent Administrator, even if these are not consistently fully implemented.