Sinosteel signs $690 million deal for Cameroon iron ore mine

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China’s Sinosteel Corp. has signed a $690 million contract to exploit an iron ore mine in southern Cameroon amid a push to cut Chinese reliance on Australian and Brazilian ore.

Sinosteel will produce 10 million tons of ore annually containing 33% iron from the Lobe mine, Zheng Zhengao, who heads the Cameroonian subsidiary told reporters in the capital, Yaounde. It will then enrich the output to produce 4 million tons of high-grade ore with more than 60% iron content, he said.

The Chinese company signed a 50-year contract with the central African government to exploit the Lobe deposit, which contains an estimated 632.8 million tons of iron ore.

The signing comes nearly a decade after Sinosteel first expressed interest in the mine.

(By Pius Lukong)

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