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December 15 (Reuters) – Fortescue Metals group (FMG.AX) announced on Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with the Gabonese government to study the development of an iron ore project in the West African country.
The Belinga iron ore project, located in northeast Gabon, has been progressively assessed by Fortescue since 2018 and is potentially one of the largest undeveloped high-grade hematite deposits in the world.
The agreement will include a 36-month exclusivity period over the 5,500 square kilometer area, with Fortescue to create a Gabonese mining company, 80% owned by Fortescue, to hold the tenure of the project.
“Fortescue is pursuing global iron ore opportunities that align with our strategy and expertise,” Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said in a statement.
“We look forward to working with the Gabonese government on this project as we continue to invest in assets to optimize the growth and returns of our iron ore business. “
Fortescue, which aims to become carbon neutral by 2030, has highlighted its drive to transition from a pure iron ore producer to a green energy company over the past year, signing a series of green energy projects, which some investors have called large in their ambition but lacking in detail. Read more
The miner is already preparing its operations to run on hydrogen, developing fuel cell vehicles such as trucks, trains and buses, and ultimately aims to power ships and even produce “green iron”, which could be used to make steel without burning dirty coking coal.
Report by Arundhati Dutta in Bangalore; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips
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