Canberra, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 21 June 2010 – The search for a missing aircraft carrying executives from iron ore company Sundance Resources Limited “’ including millionaire mining magnate Ken Talbot “’ resumed today over dense jungle in West Africa.
“We are, of course, very seriously concerned about the welfare, well being and safety of the six Australian citizens and the one Australian permanent resident on board,” Australian foreign minister Stephen Smith told parliament here. The aircraft was reported missing on Saturday on a flight from Yaounde in Cameroon to Yangadou in the Republic of Congo, according to Perth-based Sundance Resources.
Sundance is among companies exploring and building mines in Africa, attracted by its mineral riches, including the world’s biggest deposits of platinum, chrome and diamonds. The company aims to complete an initial study for its USS$3.4 billion (R25.5 billion) Mbalam iron ore project in Cameroon by the end of 2010.
“The general search area is in the border area between Cameroon and the Congo,” Smith said. “The plane made usual procedural contact after 30 minutes of a one-hour flight.”
The chartered aircraft was carrying nine people, including five others from Sundance “’ chairman Geoff Wedlock, CEO Don Lewis, company secretary John Carr-Gregg and non-executive directors John Jones and Craig Oliver. They were on the way to visit the Mbalam project and hold meetings with the governments of Cameroon and Congo.
The search for the aircraft resumed today, Sundance said at a media briefing in Perth.
Sundance’s chief financial officer Peter Canterbury has assumed the role of acting chief executive officer and is working with company advisers, the company said in a separate statement.