16 January 2013

Cameroon: Minim-Martap/Ngaoundal Bauxite Project Recruits Gov't Advisers

The second steering and follow up committee meeting held in Yaounde Tuesday January 15.

The government of Cameroon is in the process of recruiting legal, financial, mineral and industrial advisers with whom it can work alongside Cameroon Alumina Limited (CAL) in view of preparing and signing a mining convention for the multi-billion Minim-Martap/Ngaoundal Bauxite Project in the Adamawa Region. The convention that was expected in 2012 delayed and negotiations are on with hopes of signing it by June this year.

The information was disclosed in Yaounde on Tuesday January 15 during the second steering and follow up committee meeting of the Minim-Martap/Ngaoundal Bauxite Project at the Conference Hall of the General Secretariat of the Prime Minister's Office. It was chaired by the Secretary General of the PM's Office, Louis Paul Motaze, who is also the Chairman of the project's steering and follow up committee.

The Tuesday's session was meant to assess the path the project has covered thus far as well as to seek ways of reviewing its action plan and calendar of negotiations. Addressing the steering and follow up committee members, Mr Motaze said all is being done to take the heralded project off the ground so that the Head of State's wish, "for the mining sector to witness intense activities in the coming months," is translated into concrete reality.

According to the Project's Director, Eric Lavalou, once operational, the project will fetch a lot for Cameroon and Cameroonians. The project is expected to create around 7,000 direct and 6,000-8,000 indirect jobs during the peak of the execution phase, and around 1,500-2,000 direct, and 4,000 indirect jobs during the operation phase. Hundreds of highly skilled jobs are necessary for constructing and operating an alumina refinery and an extensive training programme will be undertaken by CAL for capacity building in Cameroon. There will equally be infrastructural development with rail and port that will have a highly positive socio-economic impact on top of the freight that the project will bring in as well as community development with programmes involving vocational training, education, and healthcare to be implemented. The project's social and environmental impact studies show that the feasibility studies carried out by CAL based on the exploration work carried out on 14 major plateaus put an estimated bauxite resource at 554 million tonnes. The project's fact sheet shows that it will gulp in some 4.3 billion US dollars (about FCFA 2,150 billion).

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