Andrew Forest’s Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) continues to expand its iron ore reach, with an agreement regarding the development of an iron ore deposit at Belinga, in the northeast of the country, recently signed with the Gabon government in December last year an agreement was signed granting FMG an exclusivity period for studying the viability of the project which has now concluded with the signing of an Exploration Convention between the Gabon government and FMG’s joint venture (JV) company, Ivindo Iron SA. 

The new agreement grants an exploration licence for an expected three-year program covering approximately 4,500 square kilometres, commencing immediately, as well as access to previous data and work. The deposit was identified as high iron and low contaminant spot in the 1970s after its initial discovery in 1955, and since 2018 has been gradually assessed by FMG. 

FMG Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines said the deposit was believed to be one of the world’s largest undeveloped, high-grade hematite deposits and that the venture was consistent with Fortescue pursuing global opportunities in iron ore that aligned with the company’s strategy and expertise.

Ivindo is partnering with a JV partner, The Africa Transformation and Industrialization Fund (ATIF) which is a Dubai-based investment fund concentrating on African-based projects. The Gabon government will also receive a free 10 per cent carried interest in Ivindo if future exploitation licences are granted, as a condition of the Gabon mining code. 


Are environmental regulations, health and safety concerns or potential profit loss a concern right now?

The Minister of Mines of Gabon, Elvis Ossindji said “Holding a priority position in our country’s transformation and economy diversification strategy, this project has witnessed an acceleration in order to create added value and hundreds of jobs in our country.”

He added that working alongside FMG and ATIF would ‘strengthen the mining sector’s contribution for a thriving economy while making Gabon a benchmark mining destination.’

Gabon is a major source of minerals with an estimated 2 billion tonnes of iron ore, and large deposits of gold, lead, zinc, copper diamonds, niobium and titanium. In 2015 the Gabon government introduced a new mining code to incentivise and increase state participation and international investment in the country’s mining capabilities, with a focus on legal, technical, economic, environmental and safety factors. 

Fortescue’s global interests continue to grow with the announcement of a Memorandum of Understanding recently signed with the Arab Republic of Egypt around the development of green hydrogen, following a partnership with the Government of the Republic of Djibouti also for the development of green hydrogen. 

Your feedback is important to us. If you enjoyed reading this Global Road Technology industry update and found it informative, please let us know by leaving a REVIEW.

Author – Troy Adams, Global Road Technology