Exploration drilling
underway at the Mbalam
iron ore project in
Cameroon
 
Sydney, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 21 June 2010 – A leading Australian mining magnate and executives from three Australian mining firms “’ Gindalbie, Sundance Resources and Western Areas “’ are missing after their aircraft disappeared in West Africa over the weekend.  

A statement issued here today by Sundance Resources said the plane carrying Ken Talbot “’ director of iron ore miner Sundance and one of Australia’s richest men “’ had disappeared on Saturday on a flight from the Cameroon capital Yaounde to Yangadou in neighbouring Congo Republic.

Chairman of Gindalbie and Sundance, Geoff Wedlock, and chief financial officer of nickel miner Western Areas, Craig Oliver, are among the missing mining executives.

Perth-based Sundance Resources is trying to develop a major iron ore mine in Cameroon, and Talbot’s own company Talbot Group is a major shareholder. Sundance plans to bring the Mbalam iron ore project into production in 2012.

The Cameroon government said that, aside from the six Australians, two British, two French and one American were on the aircraft, which it identified as a CASA C212 prop plane.

The mining executives were on a visit to iron ore projects in Cameroon and Congo Republic.

Aviation officials lost contact with the plane about an hour after it took off from Yaounde en route to Yangadou in the northwest of Congo Republic.

A search for the aircraft by Cameroon, Congo Republic and Gabon is under way, with assistance from Australian, Canadian and U.S. diplomats.