Out-Law Analysis 1 min. read

Cameroon’s mining sector: projects

The new mining code that took effect in Cameroon in late 2023 will govern how mining projects operate in the country.

Cameroon is a country with rich natural resources. Here we focus on three significant mining projects – the Nkamouna mine, the Minim-Martap bauxite mine, and the Mbalam-Nabeba iron ore project – that offer significant economic benefits to the country. The projects highlight the potential for further exploration and development in the mining sector in Cameroon, especially in light of the new code, which is expected to encourage investment in other projects in the years ahead.

Nkamouna mine

The Nkamouna cobalt-nickel-manganese project, situated in the East Province of Cameroon, is an open-pit mine with a projected lifespan of 23 years and reserves of 68.1 million tonnes.

Minim-Martap bauxite mine

The Minim-Martap bauxite mine, located in the Adamawa region of Central Cameroon, is an open-pit mine. The project involves exploiting approximately 108.91 million tonnes of high-quality bauxite, considered some of the world’s highest quality bauxite.

The initial life of the mine is 20 years, with an estimated capital expenditure of approximately $120m. During the initial mine life, the mine is expected to produce 4.9 million tonnes of bauxite. Construction for the project is set to commence in the second half of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals and financing.

Mbalam-Nabeba iron ore project

The Mbalam-Nabeba iron ore project, is a large-scale venture that incorporates two deposits, Mbarga in Cameroon and Nabeba in the Republic of Congo (RoC). The project straddles the border between the two countries and is approximately 320 kilometres from Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, and 540 kilometres from the coast. The first phase of the project involves mining the rich ore reserves for 10 years. The second phase involves valorising the ‘poor’ ore.

The code’s broader impact

As we have already explored, the introduction of the new mining code in Cameroon has provided much needed regulatory structure for the Western African country’s mining industry and will have major implications for foreign mining companies looking to invest. It also provides for new financing arrangements and enhanced rights of the state. The code is set to significantly transform the mining industry in the mineral-rich country.

Co-written by Christin Kleingeld and Keagile Madiba of Pinsent Masons.

We are processing your request. \n Thank you for your patience. An error occurred. This could be due to inactivity on the page - please try again.