The state has just signed an agreement with the Chinese group Sinosteel to operate the Lobé plant in Kibri in the south of the country. At this site, which extends over 20 kilometers in length, the goal is to extract and then locally enrich the ore to obtain an iron content of 60%. Although the authorities welcome the forthcoming opening of this first mine in Cameroon, opponents condemn a deficit for the state and the locals on the spot.
The fourteenth largest oil producer in Africa, Cameroon, does not operate any industrial iron mines. Mining Minister Gabriel Dodo Ndoke believes that this Lobé Kribi project signed with a Chinese partner is a success: “It is a great hope for us, Cameroon does not yet have a first industrial mine, and the agreement with the” Chinese company is in line with this development.”
Lack of transparency answers the opposition. The SDF spokesman believes that the profits from the Chinese company Sinosteel Group will be greater than the investment. Jean Pierre Wafo is formal, for him the state of Cameroon pays back its debt to the Chinese state: “What kind of contract is this where a company will invest only 420 billion CFA francs in revenues estimated at 12 times the budget of Cameroon?”
The Minister of Mining, Gabriel Dodo Ndoke, nevertheless confirms that the contract with Sinosteel respects the law and the local people: “I confirm that this contract complies with the provisions which provide resource sharing and take into account the interests of all parties. Stakeholders. Including the population.”
The state of Cameroon claims that 600 jobs will be created in the future Lobé Kribi mine. SDF wants a parliamentary inquiry commission to be appointed during the budget session scheduled for June next year in the National Assembly.