Yaounde, Cameroon — MININGREVIEW.COM — 19 September 2008 – Global miner Rio Tinto, Australia’s Sundance Resources and a Chinese company are among those shortlisted to build a US$655 million (R5 billion) port in the Central African state of Cameroon.
Making the announcement here, the government of Cameroon said it was aiming to attract investment of US$10 billion (R75 billion) in its bauxite, iron ore, cobalt, uranium and nickel deposits in the next few years, and improved infrastructure, including ports, were a key part of that drive. The proposed new deep-sea port – at Grand Batanga near Kribi in the south of the country – would be able to take much larger vessels than the main port of Douala. It would be linked by road and rail to major mining projects under development in Cameroon’s interior.
Bloomberg News reports that Rio and Sundance subsidiary CamIron both want to develop mineral projects in the country, as does American firm Hydromine, which has also made the 16-company shortlist.
“We received 24 applications,” said director of port construction Nlend Balack, “and following analysis the steering committee shortlisted 16 of them,” he added. “We hope to complete the selection process by December, and in January to sign a build, operate and transfer (BOT) system of contracts or conventions,” he said.
Construction on the new port is due to begin in September or October 2009.
Currently Douala handles 95% of the import and export traffic from Cameroon, as well as the landlocked neighbouring countries of Chad and the Central African Republic.