Cameroon’s National Mining Company (Sonamines) and China Railways No. 5 Engineering Group Co (CREC 5), a subsidiary of China Railways Group Ltd have inked a partnership deal for the development of bauxite deposits in Ngaoundal and Makan, Adamaoua.
Sonamines’ Director-General Serge Boyogueno who signed the memorandum of understanding said CREC5 will lead a consortium between Chinese state firms specialized in mining, industrial and commercial sectors for the development of the mining projects concerned.
The MoU will also facilitate the completion of exploration works with the elaboration of a bankable feasibility study and an environmental impact study as well as the exploitation of bauxite, the construction of a refinery for the transformation of bauxite into alumina, the construction of a plant for the transformation of alumina into aluminum, and finally the construction of a plant for the transformation of aluminum into by-products (sheet metal, electric cables, etc).
“Cameroon has three world-class bauxite deposits in Adamaoua (Minim-Martap, Ngaoundal, and Makan). Their combined resources are estimated at one billion tons. In July 2018, Cameroon awarded three exploration permits covering those deposits to a mining operator Australian firm Canyon Resources for a 3-year, non-renewable period. The three permits expired on July 11, 2021, and the operator applied for a mining permit, from the Ministry of Mines, covering one of the three permits. In November 2021, Sonamines, the state representative and operational arm in the mining sector, then applied for research permits covering the remaining two deposits,” explains Serge Hervé Boyogueno.
“After this MoU, binding agreements that are the last step before the actual commencement of works at the deposits will follow. All these are subjected to the objection of all the relevant permits,” the Sonamines Director-General added.