Timis said to win approval to resume $1bn Manganese mine

A mining company controlled by Frank Timis won approval from Burkina Faso to resume work on its $1 billion manganese mine, one of the world’s largest, after a nine-month hiatus, according to a letter from the government to the company seen by Bloomberg.

Pan African Minerals is allowed to restart the Tambao mine after reaffirming its commitment to build a railway and rehire workers it had fired, according to a copy of the Dec. 18 letter. A spokesman for the company declined to comment further.

The ban was imposed in March by Burkina Faso’s transitional government as it reviewed mining contracts awarded under former President Blaise Compaore’s 27-year rule. In October, voters elected a new government led by Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

Timis is the founder of mining and energy companies including Gabriel Resources Ltd., Regal Petroleum Plc and European Goldfields Ltd. He chaired African Minerals Ltd., a Sierra Leone iron-ore producer that once was worth more than 2 billion pounds ($3 billion) before a slump in the price of the steel-making ingredient dragged the company into administration earlier this year.

Pan African has so far exported about 2,000 metric tons of manganese, which is used to harden steel.


– Bloomberg [With assistance from Jesse Riseborough]