The Minim Martap project is a direct shipping ore (DSO) bauxite project planned to be developed by Australia based Canyon Resources in central Cameroon. Canyon Resources fully owns and will operate the project through its wholly-owned subsidiary Camalco.
The bauxite project is based on a near-surface high-grade ore deposit along with a well-connected infrastructure. A pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the project was completed in July 2020, while a draft mining convention is currently under negotiation with the final investment decision expected in the second half of 2021.
The construction works on the project are expected to be started in the second half of 2022 with the start of operations expected by the end of 2023.
The Minim Martap bauxite project is expected to produce 4.9 million tonnes (Mt) of bauxite ore over an initial mine life of 20 years, with an estimated capital expenditure of approximately £96m ($120m).
Project location and geology
The Minim Martap bauxite project is believed to hold one of the highest quality bauxites in the world. It comprises Minim Martap, Makan, and Ngaoundal tenements located within the Vina and Djerem Departments of the Adamawa region in central Cameroon.
The closest railway access for the Minim Martap and the Makan tenements lie approximately 50km away in the Makor railway station, while the nearest town is Ngaoundal that lies within 5km of the Ngaoundal tenement.
The Minim Martap bauxite project is planned to be developed in two stages with stage one involving the mining and direct shipping ore (DSO) export of up to 5Mtpa via rail to the port of Douala. The initial production rate in stage one is expected to be 4Mtpa which will be ramped up to 5Mtpa.
In stage two, the export tonnage is expected to be increased with decreased operating costs. This is planned to be accomplished by using the Kribi deep-water port via a rail link to Kribi which is proposed to be developed by the Government of Cameroon.
Bauxite resources at Minim Martap
The Minim Martap Bauxite project was estimated to hold approximately 892Mt indicated and inferred resources grading 45.1% Aluminium oxide (Al2O3) and 2.8% Silicon dioxide (SiO2) as of June 2020.
The project targets to produce high-quality bauxite ore at average grades of 52% total Alumina and 2.3% total Silica.
The Minim Martap bauxite project will comprise three sub-horizontal open-cut mines at Beatrice South, Raymonde-East, and Danielle-Central. Beatrice South will be operated for approximately four years before transitioning to Raymonde-East in year five while the Danielle-Central operations will start from year 14.
Due to the shallow nature of the ore deposit, the mine design involves edge-to-edge strip mining and ore extraction with the use of conventional surface-miners, bulldozers, front end loaders, haul trucks.
The extracted ore will be loaded in to haul trucks and stockpiled at specific run-of-the-mine (ROM) pads at a train loadout facility.
Rail and port system
The train loadout facility will be located approximately 150m north of the existing Makor station. The project also involves an 800m new rail siding. The ore from the stockpiles will be loaded into open-top, rotating container boxes with the use of front-end loaders.
The container boxes will be hauled by 600m-long trains each capable of moving approximately 3,116t of ore in 38 skeleton wagons.
The trains will first arrive at the Gare Centrale station in Douala where the ore will be split into half and shuttled into a new dedicated unloading area to be constructed at the Port of Doula midway between the pier area and the Gare Centrale station.
The specialized container boxes will be rotated into belt feeder hoppers and conveyed to a bulk storage area at the port.