YAOUNDE - Cameroon and Sinosteel Cam S.A., a subsidiary of the China's multinational Sinosteel Corporation Ltd., on Friday signed a convention that will enable the company to invest more than $700 million at an iron ore project in Cameroon's South region.
Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development Gabriel Dodo Ndoke and General Manager of Sinosteel Cam S.A. Zheng Zhenghao conducted the signing at the Congress hall in Yaounde, capital of Cameroon.
The convention concerns an integrated mining and infrastructure project which aims at the industrial exploitation of the Lobe iron ore deposit in the region, according to a statement released by Sinosteel Cam S.A. during the signing ceremony.
It includes the development of an iron ore beneficiation plant, a pipeline of about 20 kilometers to transport the beneficiated iron ore to the terminal, an energy production unit of at least 60 megawatts for the project and a mineral terminal to market the products on the international market, indicates the statement.
"It is ecologically sustainable and economically rewarding. Sinosteel has technical and financial means. I want to use this opportunity to congratulate and to thank our partners of Chinese state that are accompanying us in this project through their international company Sinosteel which is a great company that has experience all over the world. It is a great opportunity for our development. This project that will soon start will bring to our country a lot of opportunities," Ndoke told reporters after the ceremony.
The deposit is estimated to boast reserves of 632.8 million tons of iron ore, and Sinosteel Cam S.A. plans to extract 10 million tons per year of ore at 33 percent iron and then enrich it to produce 4 million tons of high-grade iron concentrate at more than 60 percent iron, according to the statement.
"This project will bring an increase in income of the state, create employment directly and indirectly for Cameroonians. We will train the local people so that they could know what industrial mining is and this is also the first industrial mining project in the mining sector in this country," Zheng said.
Sinosteel Cam S.A. estimates that at least 600 direct jobs and more than 1,000 indirect jobs will be created through the project.
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