Guinean and Liberian officials reported that the two countries signed an agreement on Friday to allow several Guinean mining products to be exported through Liberia, including the large Nimba iron ore project. The transport of tons of raw materials from mines in remote areas of Guinea to ports has been a major obstacle for potential developers of the country’s rich mineral resources.
Friday’s agreement, based on a preliminary memorandum of understanding signed six years ago, was a victory for HPX, a company owned by US and Canadian investor Robert??Friedland, which last month bought Nimba, a high-quality iron ore mine in southeastern Guinea.
“problematic mining projects are located near the Liberian border and cannot be profitable if they are exported through the coast of Guinea,” Guinean Mining Minister AbdoulayeMagassouba said. ” Magassouba said that under the agreement, a graphite project owned by SRG Mining and a Zali?Mining project could also be exported through Liberia.
The nearby Zogota iron ore mine is owned by Mick??Davis, a former boss of Xstrata (Xstrata), which has previously negotiated an agreement to export through Liberia. But Nimba and Zogota still need to reach an agreement with Germany’s ArcelorMittal (ArcelorMittal), Liberia’s only railway concessionaire, to persuade it to allow them to use its infrastructure.
However, for the larger Simandou (Simandou) iron ore project, it is impossible to export through Liberia. The Guinean government says the ultimate owner of Simandou must build a 650km railway, the Trans-Guinea Railway, to transport iron ore to the coast of Guinea for export.
Source: SMM News