The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Cameroon’s National Mining Company (Sonamines) and China Railway No.5 Engineering Group (CREC 5) for the development of the Ngaoundal and Makan bauxite deposits have been canceled. The MoU signed on February 18, 2022, was voided by Minister of Mines Gabriel Dodo Ndoke (photo), Sonamines’ technical supervisor.
According to Gabriel Dodo Ndoke (photo), the MoU violates a provision of the mining code that provides that only the State can allocate mining titles, sign contracts, pre-contracts, mining agreements, and similar rights on the management of mineral resources of the country’s subsoil. The government official provided no additional details but he only stressed the immediate effect of that cancellation.
When signing the MoU, Serge Hervé Boyogueno, Director-General of Sonamines, explained that the state mining firm requested two exploration permits for the Ngaoudal and Makan deposits in November 2021. He did not disclose the result of those requests.
According to the Director-General, this MoU will lead to a consortium between Chinese state firms specialized in mining, industrial and commercial sectors for the development of the mining projects concerned. It 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.. ).
"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 obtention of all the relevant permits," stressed the Sonamines Director-General.