Australian Fortescue Metals Group inks iron deposit mining deal with Gabon
Australian iron ore company, Fortescue Metals Group, has signed a deal with Gabon, to explore an iron ore deposit in Belinga, north-east of the country, with short-term investment put at $200 million.
Fortescue per the deal will commence mining in the second half of 2023.
The company in a statement said with the mining convention signed, all legal, fiscal and regulatory regimes for the 4500-square-kilometre project had been established, paving the way for early development to enable production of up to two million tons per annum.
“The Gabonese Republic chose Fortescue to develop Belinga not only due to our strong track record of delivering major projects, but due also to our company-wide commitment to use our major industrial scale and expertise to assist heavy industry combat climate change,” Fortescue chair Andrew Forrest said.
“The climate threat is now incorporated as a key risk by governments the world over. Critically, it’s considered a threat to Gabon’s rich natural heritage.”
“Geological mapping and sampling programs have confirmed our initial thoughts that this new West African iron ore hub may well one day prove to be among the largest in the world,” the company said.
The Australian iron ore major entered into a deal with the African country in 2021 to study the potential of the Belinga iron ore project.
Gabon also announced Wednesday that the company is expected to invest $10 billion on the long term and will create 20,000 jobs.
Fortescue will run the project jointly with Ivindo Iron SA. Which operates Belinga.