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Delay in securing mining permit hits Cameroon alumina project

The failure of India’s Hindalco, Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal) and Hydromine Inc to secure mining permit has delayed the launch of the groups Cameroon Alumina Ltd (CAL) joint venture

The companies announced the launch of the project more than three years ago. The joint venture, which is worth US$4.3 billion and aimed at building a bauxite mining and alumina refinery in Cameroon, is still waiting for a mining permit, according to a company executive.

CAL deputy general manager Joel Sinquin told Reuters, “The kick-off of our project is so far delayed because we don’t yet have a mining permit.

“We are pushing negotiations with the government and hope that the permit is granted soon, if possible, before the end of this year or early next year.”

CAL had aimed to produce 4.5 to 9 million tonnes of bauxite per year. Sinquin said the company expected to start building the refinery in 2015 and start commercial production in 2018.

The alumina refinery, with a capacity of 1.4 to three million tonnes, would be Africa’s second alumina refinery.

“We are planning an annual production of 1.5 million tonnes of alumina per annum, doubling the continent’s current lone producer in Guinea-Conakry, which produces about 700,000 tonnes a year,” added Sinquin.