Monrovia, Liberia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 10 March, 2008 – South African-based mining company Delta Mining Consolidated (DMC) – which has been awarded the contract for the development of three major iron ore deposits in Liberia – has promised to launch operations as soon as possible, although the official project contract has not yet been signed.
Quoting “The Analyst” citing Delta CEO Heine van Niekerk here, allAfrica.com reports that the first two years will focus on feasibility studies and trials. Full mining is scheduled to start in the third year of operation.
The mining operation will also concentrate on infrastructure development. This includes the rehabilitation of schools, health centres, a railroad, a road network, water and electricity. The investment package will be equivalent to US$1.6 billion (R12 billion), he said.
It was announced in late January that the Liberian government had awarded the contract for the development of the three iron ore deposits to DMC, ahead of such industrial giants as Tata Steel and Arcelor-Mittal.
DMC was one of seven companies that submitted a bid for the so-called Western Cluster iron ore deposits in Liberia, according to the Johannesburg-based mining exploration company’s web site. The Western Cluster includes Bomi Hills, Mano River and Beah Mountain in Grand Cape Mountain County. Total output is estimated at up to 20 million metric tonnes a year.
Van Niekerk did point out, however, that the formal agreement between DMC and the government of Liberia had not yet been signed. DMC says it expects a mandatory due diligence investigation to be completed before the end of 2008 to formalise the award of the project.
According to observers, allAfrica.com reports, the signing of the agreement will set the stage for full operations. “The company has promised to start operations as soon as possible,” the report adds.
Van Niekerk has already confirmed that the workforce the company employs will include a minimum of 60% Liberians.