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Gabon keen to start iron ore project

Iron ore – soon to
be mined in Gabon
Libreville, Gabon — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 January 2009 – The government of Gabon is urging the Chinese to accelerate the development of a massive iron ore project in the West African country, which has been delayed by the global financial crisis..

Bloomberg News reports from the Gabonese capital that mining and oil minister Casimir Oye Mba said in a broadcast on state-owned Radio Television Gabonaise that his government needed to finalise this project, as it was expected to create 20 000 jobs for the country.

China’s Ambassador to Gabon, Xue Wei Jin, has held talks with Gabonese deputy prime minister in charge of the environment, Georgette Koko, to review the progress of an environmental study before work starts on the site, known as Belinga. The project site is 500 km east of Libreville.

China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Corporation announced last July

That it had signed a 25-year accord with Gabon’s government to build and operate a mine producing as much as 30 million tonnes a year of the steelmaking ingredient. The state-owned contracting company, known as Sinomach, will also build a 500km railway, a port and a water power station.

The total cost of the mine will exceed US$790 million (R8 billion), according to the “China Daily.”