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[Source: NUSACC's U.S.-Arab Trade Outlook 2013]

Constitutional rule has returned after the 2008 military coup and contested elections threw Mauritania into chaos. One of the country’s key opposition parties, Rassemblement des Forces Démocratiques (RFD), recognized the August 2009 election as legitimate and General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was appointed President. In June 2010, the Government of Mauritania received $3.1 billion in aid commitments from the international donor community in Brussels. The funds will finance nearly 200 infrastructure, poverty reduction, and health and education development projects.

Mauritania’s large deposits of iron ore provide 40 percent of the country’s total exports. With commodity prices falling around the world, national producer Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière (SNIM) watched its revenues plummet from $321 million in 2008 to $125 million in 2009, despite only a nine percent drop in total tonnage produced (10.2 million tons). The subsequent recovery in iron prices – from $103 per metric ton in 2009 to nearly $200 in 2010 – has put SNIM back on track to invest $1 billion in plant and operational expansion during the 2010 - 2013 period.

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