Below is a list of major mining projects in Cameroon, which is seeking to diversify its traditionally oil-driven economy, the largest in central Africa.
- Rio Tinto Alcan has partnered Cameroon’s government in Alucam for an operation scheduled to include a 1 million tonne aluminum smelter at Kribi. Rio has said the project, including a 1,000 megawatt hydroelectric dam to power the smelter, will cost 140 billion CFA francs ($273.3 million). Construction timeline is 2015-18.
- Cameroon Alumina Limited (CAL), a bauxite mining joint venture formed by U.S. firm Hydromines, the United Arab Emirates’s Dubai Aluminum, and India’s Hindalco Industries, announced in November it found 550 million tonnes of bauxite and is targeting another 200 million tonnes.
It applied for a mining permit in December and start-up is planned for 2013. The consortium plans to invest $5-6 billion in the bauxite mining and refinery project at Ngaoundal, north of the capital, Yaounde, and a railway linking the project to the port of Kribi, 860 km away. The expected bauxite output is 4.5-9 million tonnes per annum.
- Toronto-listed Geovic’s nickel-cobalt-manganese project in Nkamouna, in south-eastern Cameroon expects to produce 4,200 tonnes of cobalt per year and 2,100 tonnes of nickel per year for 21 years. The company said in July it could start mining by the end of 2010, accelerating a timetable that had been delayed to 2012. The project’s cost is estimated at $500 million.
- Australia’s Sundance Resources has an exploration permit for the Mbalam deposits. The company delayed start-up of production from the $2.46 billion project by two years to 2013. Reserves are estimated at roughly 2.5 billion tonnes, including 2.325 billion tonnes of itabirite hematite and 215 million tonnes of high grade hematite. The company raised $89.7 in December to complete definitive feasibility study and hopes to produce some 35 million tonnes of ore per year.
- Australia’s Legend Mining Limited in September 2009 acquired a 90 percent interest in two exploration permits covering an area of approximately 2,400 km2 after it obtained 90 percent ownership of Camina (Cameroon Mining Action) SA. It said it raised $3.42 million in December to fast track exploration, drilling is envisaged for May-June 2010.
- Nu Energy Corporation, a subsidiary of Canada’s Mega Uranium, is exploring for uranium in two sites in the north and the south of the country. After initial positive results in September, the firm is planning a follow-up 2,000 meter drill programme in the Kitongo project in the north.
- African Aura Mining is drilling at the Kambele prospect of its 100 percent owned Batouri gold exploration license in the East region where the company has recorded visible gold in 25 out of 44 holes drilled.
- C&K Mining Inc, a joint Cameroon-Korean company operating near the border with Congo-Republic, is due to begin mining in 2010 with output to be 1 million carats in the first year and expected to reach 6 million carats a year at peak production. C&K signed mining convention with Cameroon in July and is now waiting for exploitation license.