Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

6 June 2014

Cameroon: Mbalam-Nabeba Iron Ore Project - Govt, Partners Sign Infrastructure Agreements

The government of Cameroon has signed four separate infrastructure concession agreements with strategic partners of the multi-billion Mbalam-Nabeba Iron Ore project in view of putting in place the necessary details for the development of ports and rail infrastructure indispensable for iron ore production to begin. These include a revised convention of the project signed between the Minister of Mines, Industries and Technological Development and officials of Sundance and CAMIRON, a mineral terminal concession agreement signed between the Minister of Public Works and the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Kribi Deep Seaport project, a railway concession agreement between the Ministers of Public Works and that of Transport and a ports and railway Engineering Procurement Construction contract signed between CAMIRON and Sundance and MOTA Engil, a Portuguese firm selected to develop the infrastructure.

Chairing the ceremony, Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang, said government holds the project in high esteem given its envisaged socio-economic fallouts and would not relent any effort in ensuring that it succeeds. The Head of Government saluted the confidence bestowed on the project and country by the project's financier, Standard Bank of South Africa, stating that Cameroon is a good investment risk worth embracing.

Like the Prime Minister, the President of the project's steering committee, Louis Paul Motaze said government on November 29, 2012 signed a mining convention with Sundance and the outfit was given 18 months to show proof of mobilising the about FCFA 3,000 billion needed for the first phase of the project. Yesterday's event, he said, was proof of the fact that the project is on a good footing. "Government made sure that the infrastructure proposed by the contracting firm meet international standards and will be in line with the railway national master plan as concerns rail infrastructure," he said.

Acording to the Chairman of Sundance, George Jones, all will be done to meet the needs of government and the population. He said another milestone of the project was the signing of a long-term off-take contract with a leading global commodities trader, Noble Resources International, to buy all the production for the first 10 years of operation outside that allocated to project equity participants. Meanwhile, the General Manager of the Portuguese firm, Gilberto Rodriguez, pledged to use the experience in infrastructure development coupled with its long stay in Africa to give Cameroon infrastructure that will transform the future of the country and the image of the continent. The four to five-year project, he said, will recruit about 5,000 people and will greatly subcontract with Cameroon's companies.

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