Yaounde, Cameroon — MININGREVIEW.COM — 28 July 2008 – Cameroon is luring a flood of new mining investors who it hopes will invest over $10 billion (R80 billion) and create over 27 000 jobs in the country over the next few years.
Reuters reports from here that Cameroon – rich in such minerals as bauxite, iron ore, cobalt, nickel and uranium, but long troubled by poor infrastructure, red tape and costly corruption – is now attracting the attention of some major new companies.
They are spurred on by soaring global commodity prices, as well as friendly mining legislation offering tax holidays in country. The government says the 63 mining exploration permits it has handed out over two years are proof of the levels of interest.
“With all these, the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Technological Development estimates foreign direct investments in the sector in the next few years to stand at some US$ 10 billion (R80 billion)” said Oscar Matip, the ministry’s director of mines and geology.
"All these investments will boost economic development, raise incomes, fight poverty and improve the standard of living of the people,” he told Reuters.
Of the four exploitation licences already handed out, Matip pointed out that the most exciting was a nickel-cobalt-manganese project in Nkamouna, which is 60% owned by Toronto-listed Geovic Cameroon, and due to start producing in 2010.
Geovic expects to produce 4 200 tonnes of cobalt per year, which would make it the world’s second largest producer of the metal, as well as 2 100 tonnes of nickel every year for 21 years.