Conakry, Guinea — 07 October 2013 – Sable Mining Africa Limited has won permission to export iron ore from its Nimba mine in Guinea through neighbouring Liberia, increasing the prospect that it will be able to start production in 2015.
Bloomberg News quoted the company as saying in a statement released here that the Guinean decree will enable Sable to transport the steelmaking ingredient to the port of Buchanan. Sable subsequently rose 13% to 10.75 pence in London trading, the highest intra-day level since March 4.
Last week Sable was granted a mining licence for Nimba, which contains a reserve of about 135Mt of iron ore. The company said it would seek to transport the ore by train from the project in southeast Guinea through Liberia, where ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, operates a mine and rail line to the harbour at Buchanan.
“The issuance of our export decree, the first granted by the government of Guinea, is a major endorsement for Sable Mining, and represents yet another critical milestone achieved by our team,” CEO Andrew Groves said in the statement.
The Guinean government is reviewing some mining licences as it seeks to improve transparency in the industry. Besides bauxite, an aluminium ingredient, Guinea has vast reserves of iron ore, gold and diamonds. Rio Tinto Group, BHP Billiton Limited, the biggest mining company in the world, and Vale SA are among those with projects in the country.
Rio, the world’s second-largest mining company, said last month that its US$20 billion Simandou iron-ore project in Guinea may start in 2018 at the earliest, three years behind the initial target, pending completion of funding.
Sable was founded by Groves and former England cricketer Philippe Edmonds. The pair previously operated Central African Mining & Exploration Company, which they sold to Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) for US$943 million in 2009.
Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.