China Eximbank pledges loan for Bélinga Iron Ore Project
Not recommended for aggregates
This project is not recommended for use in creating aggregated sums. See the documentation for more information about this criteria.
Funding agency [Type]
Export-Import Bank of China [State-owned Policy Bank]
Industry, mining, construction (Code: 320)
On April 21, 2005, China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) announced plans to make a $3 billion infrastructural investment in Gabon — involving the construction of a new 560 km railway line linking Bélinga to the Transgabonais, a deepwater mining port at Santa Clara, a hydroelectric dam, and a steel mill — in exchange for exploration rights to the Bélinga iron ore mine. Then, in 2006, the Gabonese government granted a Chinese consortium led by China National Machinery and Equipment Import Export Corp (CMEC) the right to develop the Belinga iron ore mine, which is reportedly the largest known untapped deposit of iron ore in the world. China Eximbank agreed in principle to provide a loan to Compagnie Minière de Bélinga (“Comibel S.A.”), a joint venture and project company that was established in 2007. The Government of Gabon held a 15% equity stake in Comibel S.A. and Chinese investors (including CMEC) held an 85% equity stake in Comibel S.A. China Eximbank agreed in principle to be repaid with revenue generated from the Bélinga mine. However, in 2009, following alleged breaches of contract by Comibel S.A., the Government of Gabon decided that the contract with CMEC had to be revised. An amicable agreement between the parties was signed in Paris on November 19, 2013 and the Government of Gabon agreed to pay for Comibel’s previously incurred expenses. However, for all intents and purposes, the Bélinga Iron Ore Project was cancelled.
Number of official sources
Number of unofficial sources
Receiving agencies [Type]
Compagnie Minière de Bélinga (“Comibel S.A.”) [Joint Venture/Special Purpose Vehicle]
Implementing agencies [Type]
China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) [State-owned Company]
Paid through revenue generated by the mine