MAC/20: Mines and Communities

China to fund iron ore mining in Gabon

Published by MAC on 2006-09-08


China to fund iron ore mining in Gabon

8th September 2006

Africa Press Agency (APA)

Libreville (Gabon) The People’s Republic of China will release US $3 billion for the mining of the Belinga iron deposit in the Gabonese North-East region, according to the Gabonese Communication Minister who is also the government spokesman, Rene Ndemezo ’Obiang, Thursday.

The agreement was signed on Thursday by the Gabonese Prime minister, Jean Eyeghe Ndong, and the representative of the Chinese communist party, Wu Guan Zheng, in the presence of Gabonese President Omar Bongo Ondimba.

The funds to be granted will be used for the construction of a 560 km long railway, a port for the transportation of the ore, a hydroelectric plant and the iron mining factory.

According to President Omar Bongo Ondimba, the iron mining in Belinga will be “the greatest opencast working of the century” in Gabon. It will create 30, 000 direct jobs and 10, 000 indirect ones, he told journalists, adding that the construction operations will start very shortly.

Last June the Gabonese authorities decided to grant the mining of the Belinga iron deposit to Chinese companies.

Discovered in 1895, the Belinga Iron deposit is one the biggest still untapped iron deposits in the world, the Gabonese Mines minister, Richard Auguste Onouviet indicated.

According to the findings of a research carried out in the 60s, the deposit might contain more than 1 billion tons of reserves which content is estimated at 65%.

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