London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 July 2008 – Toronto listed Geovic Cameroon plc – 60% owned by Geovic Mining Corporation – is to start production at its Nkamouna cobalt mine in the east of Cameroon by 2010.

An announcement released here pointed out that Geovic had been granted exclusive rights by the government of Cameroon in 2003 to mine cobalt-nickel laterite deposits which it described as “the world’s largest resource of cobalt.”

“We intend to start construction of the camp by August or September this year, and to begin construction of the mine in early 2009," Geovic Cameroon managing director Richard Howe told Reuters in an interview here at a Commonwealth Africa business conference. He said the firm would start production in 2010, but added that 2011 would be the first year of full production.

“We got our environmental permit approved in May last year, and we are now finishing off permits for land use which involves 1 200 squ km,” he added.

Cameroon Prime Minister Ephraim Inoni told the conference that mining would help push the country’s economic growth to between 6 and 6.5% in 2009, compared to 4 to 5% this year.
 
Geovic expects to produce 4 200 tonnes of cobalt and 2 100 tonnes of nickel annually for at least 21 years from the deposits, which it estimates at 52 million tonnes. He said that initial investment in the project would be between US$300 million (R2.4 billion) and US$400 million (R3.2 billion), and the company would be the second-largest producer of cobalt in the world.