Farim Guinea Bissau



Keywords: Farim Guinea Bissau
Description: Guinea-Bissau’s government has revoked a contract for the exploitation of the Farim phosphate deposit held by a subsidiary of Swiss-based GB Mining Holding AG, an official government statement

Guinea-Bissau’s government has revoked a contract for the exploitation of the Farim phosphate deposit held by a subsidiary of Swiss-based GB Mining Holding AG, an official government statement said on Friday.

The Farim phosphate deposit, located around 100 km (60 miles) north of the capital Bissau, is the biggest mining and industrial project in the impoverished West African state.

A letter from Natural Resources Minister Soares Sambu made public on Friday said the government was annulling the contract with GB Phosphate Mining Ltd due to what he said was a number of violations of its clauses allegedly committed by the company.

There was no immediate reaction from Steffisburg, Switzerland-based GB Mining Holding AG, which holds a majority 62 percent stake in GB Phosphate Mining Ltd. which is domiciled in Saint Vincent in the Caribbean.

GB Mining Holding’s Website said GB Phosphate Mining Ltd. was set up in October 2005 and had invested some $15 million in the Farim phosphate mine project.

Giving the reasons for revoking the contract, Minister Sambu said GB Phosphate Mining had failed to explain a suspension of work at the mine between December 2007 and February 2008, and had failed to provide the ministry with financial guarantees, among other contract violations.

The Farim phosphate deposit in Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony and one of the world’s poorest countries, had previously been explored and evaluated since the late 1990s by Champion Industrial Minerals, a subsidiary of Red Back Mining, Inc. (For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: http://africa.reuters.com/) (Reporting by Alberto Dabo; Writing by Pascal Fletcher; editing by Michael Roddy)

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