Following years of failed attempts to develop world’s largest manganese deposit Tambao, Burkina Faso plans to contract the development of the $1 billion project to a new partner.
Confirming this in an interview with Bloomberg while in Ouagadougou, Mining Minister Oumarou Idani said “It makes sense that we find a strategic partner who is reliable and start a new project.”
Tambao mine had previously been contracted to Pan African Minerals, a unit of Timis Mining Corp., before the company was asked to end mining activities in 2015, as a result of power transition in the landlocked country’s government.
Citing a “breakdown of confidence” to be the cause of disagreement between the mining company and the government, the minister noted that Pan African Minerals “Is seeking as much as $4 billion in damages”, though “They didn’t respect their obligations.” he said.
The case between the company and the West African country’s government is still ongoing, following the company petition on to the International Court of Arbitration in Paris to protect its permit from being withdrawn in December 2016.
Tambao development is a major priority to the Burkinabe state, as it is one of the largest deposits in Africa region. The world’s largest resource of manganese deposit and potential mine site has estimated reserves of 100 million metric tons.