Brazzaville, Republic of Congo — 19 July 2013 – MagIndustries Corporation has asked China Development Bank for US$1 billion in financing for what the company describes as one of the world’s largest undeveloped potash projects, located in the Republic of Congo.
The Mengo deposit, about 15km north-east of the port city of Point-Noire, is expected to produce 1.2Mtpa of the fertiliser annually and cost US$1.36 billion, reports Bloomberg News.
“The Mengo potash project aims to create a production base for world-class fertiliser,” said Longbo Chen, CEO of the Toronto-based company, according to a statement distributed here by Congo’s Mines Ministry. East China Engineering Science and Technology Company, the general contractor on the project, is expected to finish construction of the production plant by 2015, Chen added.
MagIndustries, whose controlling shareholder is Evergreen Group of Shanghai, announced the partnership with ECEC on July 10. Mengo is 90% owned by MagIndustries’ subsidiary, MagMinerals Potasses Congo SA, and 10% by the government.
“What was at first a dream now constitutes a reality, thanks to the will expressed by the Congolese and Chinese governments,” said Simon Liang, chairman of MagIndustries and Evergreen, according to the Mines Ministry statement.
The plant will produce agricultural-grade potash fertilisers for markets in Asia, South America, South Africa and Europe, the MagIndustries’ website says. Potash is used by farmers to boost crop resistance to drought and strengthen plant root systems.
“This is a major, structural industrial project for the country and sub-region whose realisation will contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the population,” said mines minister Pierre Oba.
Congo Republic relies on crude oil to generate 69% of its gross domestic product, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The country produces diamonds and gold, and has deposits of iron ore, copper and zinc, according to its website.
Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.