African mining industry needs longevity

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Longevity and sustainability are requirements in the mining industry in Africa.

“You’re not making a decision for the next six months, 12 months or two years, you’re making it for much longer. Bellzone’s view has been to make sure that, from a sustainability perspective, we’ve been working a lot with the local communities, we’ve been working a lot with government as well in terms of understanding their processes and practices,” Bellzone’s CEO, Glen Baldwin told CNBC Africa.

“You’ve got to look at the sustainability of the business and, at the end of the day, it’s an international company coming into Guinea and I think there will be a relationship born which rewards both parties.”

Bellzone, an emerging iron ore, copper and nickel exploration and development mining company, recently released its feasibility study on its flagship project, Kalia, in Guinea.

“Last year we finished a feasibility study which said that the entire project is feasible but the capital cost was very large. We’ve unpacked that over the last 12 months and we’ve completed a bankable feasibility study which has said that under the current price scenario, and even with a 25 per cent drop in price, the project would be an economic investment,” Baldwin explained.

“The capital cost is 865 million US [dollars]. It sounds like a lot of money but from a capital intensity perspective, it’s very competitive in the world of iron ore.”

Baldwin insists that it is possible to overcome certain infrastructure challenges associated with Africa, and that it is their hope that this will lead to further infrastructure development.

“We’ve proven that we can construct whole roads in Guinea and effectively by building that road, we’ve become independent of any other major infrastructure requirements whether it be railway lines or deep water ports,” he said.

“I do think the iron ore price is very robust at the moment. I don’t see all of the projects in the world coming online as expected and I do think it is a very good industry to be invested in, into the future.”