June 13, 2011 / 2:07 PM / 8 years ago

CORRECTED - Ivorian gold output can double in 2 yrs- industry

* Industry sees Ivory Coast gold output doubling

* Seeks more government support

(Corrects to Africa-focused from South Africa’s Randgold in paragraph 3 of story published June 10)

YAMOUSSOUKRO, June 10 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast can double gold output within two years from the current 7 tonnes per year as more miners seek to tap its estimated 200,000 tonnes of reserves, an industry association official said on Friday.

“We can double production very quickly within the next two years, because there are several companies carrying out exploration, and it is likely that new sites could start production,” said Michel Mian, president of the Interprofessional Mining Group (GPMCI) and head of Australia’s Newcrest (NCM.AX) Ivorian operations.

Miners including Newcrest, Africa-focused Randgold Resources RRS.L, Cluff Gold CLUF.L and Canada’s La Mancha LMA.TO have operations in the West African nation, best known as the world’s top cocoa producer.

Around 30 other companies are carrying out exploration across the country, Mian said.

Mian was speaking at the sidelines of an oil and mining conference, organised by Ivorian authorities to attract investment in the country following a four-month conflict that shattered its economy and halted some operations.

The Ivorian government, which plans to diversify its export earnings and grow other sectors of its economy, has said it plans to triple gold output within four to six years.

Mian said the industry was in discussion with the government on the types of incentives the government could offer investors to boost exploration and mining activity.

Reporting by Ange Aboa; Writing by Bate Felix and editing by Jane Baird

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