Hope-raising Industrial Mining In View

Cameroon is fully drawn to transform its huge mineral potentials into development tools to bolster the socio-economic development of the country. In effect, expectations are high that the country which has been described severally as a “geological scandal” (owing to the mismatch between its vast mining reserves and development) could embrace development-triggered industrial mining prone to giving growth the image and substance of its subsoil. 
The announcement on December 31, 2022 by President Paul Biya during his New Year State-of-the-nation’s address that three giant mining projects will see the light of day in 2023 rekindles hopes in the population that  solid minerals could in no distance future complement or even take the relay from liquid minerals in contributing to the growth of the economy. 
To say the least, the Head of State’s disclosure that, “ In order to diversify State revenue sources, I authorized the implementation of three large-scale projects aimed at developing our mining potential, structuring our economy and creating jobs” was ground-breaking. Clearly so as available statistics show that non-oil mining in the country; huge and varied potentials notwithstanding, have an insignificant contribution to the Gross Domestic Product. Little wonder President Paul Biya underlined that, “Although our subsoil is endowed with mineral resources, the non-oil mining sector accounts for merely 1% of Gross Domestic Product.” This is simply disturbing given that studies have shown that Cameroon is very rich in minerals. The country produces gold in the East and South regions, copper, lead, zinc, bauxite from Minim Martap and Ngaoundal in the Adamawa region. There is iron ore at Mbalam and near Kribi, nickel, cobalt and manganese at Nkamouna, rutile at Akonolinga, limestone at Mintom, uranium at Poli and at Lolodorf and diamonds at Mobilong. It is even stated that these potentials are just 80 per cent of the country. Meaning once the entire country would have been explored, interesting discoveries in terms of mineral reserves could be uncovered. These are golden opportunities for sustainable investments that have rather been wasting! Developing solid minerals will therefore provide the country with substitutes for its diminishing hydrocarbon stocks and give additional financial resources which could be used to finance growth investments. This is really diversifying the economy and funding sources!
That 2023 will be marked by the commencement of the exploitation of the Kribi-Lobe iron ore which comprises the construction of an iron enrichment plant, an approximately 20-kilometre long pipeline, and a 60-megawatt power plant are signs that the country is bent on evolving from the hitherto artisanal mining which has been riddled with ungentlemanly behaviours. The announced industrial mining would supposedly be orderly and could make up for the shortcomings of artisanal mining which ranges from  using unauthorised equipment in mining fields, digging beyond legal regulations and not refilling the holes and selling much of the harvested precious metals in the black market to the detriment of the national economy.
The Mbalam-Nabeba iron...



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