The Cameroon Minister of Mines, Industries and Technological Development, Gabriel Dodo Ndoke has said the deal between the government and a Chinese Mining Company SINOSTEEL was in line with the laws governing the sector.
The Minister was reacting recently after many accusations that the deal was shady as it deprived the state of Cameroon of billions of FCFA.
The said mining deal gave the Chinese company to exploit Iron ore in Lobé south region of Cameroon for 20 years.
This agreement has stirred wide criticisms amongst Cameroonians who questioned the benefits of such a deal to the population.
Talking to the National Post recently, Minister Gabriel Dodo said mining and exploitation have always been governed by a law dated 2016.
“The agreement between the state of Cameroon and “SNOSTEEL” will not disrespect this law by the state. So this convention is the fruit of the transcription of this law, it is the fruit of a reflection and negotiation which involved for the Cameroonian part, multiple administrations which each contributed, in their fields, to make this convention smart and perfect.” He stated.
As per the deal, the minister saidLobé deposit is the smallest resource as compared to others in the country.
The overall reserve, he highlighted is 632 million tones at a content of 33%, therefore requiring to be enriched to at least 60%. This means that in the order of magnitude compared to other deposits in the world, having managed to process this ore, the quantities developed and which will be marketed will be fair proportion, brought down. A production of 10,000 tons per year is planned. The 10,000 tons need to be enriched to bring the quantity down to just under 4 million tons per year.
He added that the exploitation of new deposits allows the State to reap a certain amount of tax revenue through the ad valorem tax, through corporate tax.
“Because there is no derogatory regime.” He said the company will pay the specific taxes, they will pay the common law taxes at the same time. There is a part under the tax on the export of mining products which according to him will have to be paid through customs, there is a part under the right of the domain concession, and there is a share of the distribution of dividends between the State of Cameroon and the company SINOSSINO STEELch has reached d the stage of profitable production dividends Cameroon products provides that the sharing is done at 10% of the proportions of the profit margins of the company carried by SONAMINES provides mining company.
When asked about the effect it will have on local businesses, he responded saying the mining company plans to produce 600 direct jobs and a thousand indirect jobs. To him, this will help to solve the unemployment faced by youths in Cameroon.