London - Guinea-focused iron ore miner Sable Mining said on Monday it had been granted permission to export through Liberia by the Guinean government, which could increase the viability of its Nimba project.
Liberia, which neighbours Guinea, has an existing rail link to the Altantic and offers a far shorter export route for Sable's Nimba iron ore project.
The company, whose chairman is the former England cricket player Phil Edmonds, said the decree was the first to be issued in Guinea and was an important step towards starting production in 2015 and hitting 5 million tonnes per year production after that.
West Africa, and particularly Guinea which is home to the giant Simandou deposit, is seen as the next major frontier for iron ore, but a dire lack of infrastructure and the huge investments needed to build it have crippled projects.
“The issuance of our export decree, the first granted by the Government of the Republic of Guinea, is a major endorsement for Sable Mining and represents yet another critical milestone achieved by our team,” Andrew Groves, Sable chief executive, said in the statement.
In an interview with Reuters last month Groves said the mining licence and export decree would be vital evidence the company could deliver on its plans.
The next step he said would be to raise $200-300 million next year. - Reuters