ALGIERS- A memorandum of understanding was signed in Algiers on Tuesday in Algiers between the Algerian Mines Complex (Manal) and the Turkish company “Ozmert” within the framework of developing and valorising iron mines in the cities of Boukhadra and Ouenza in Tébessa.
The President and General Manager of «Manal» Complex, Mr Mohamed Sakhr, and the General Manager of «Ozmert» Company, Adnan Tun., initialled the document.
The Minister of Energy and Mines, Mohamed Arkab, presided over the signing ceremony, which took place at the headquarters of the “Manal” complex, which oversees the exploitation of the Ouenza and Boukhadra iron mines through the Mines East Steel Company (MFE Spa).
This contract is expected to begin once its implementation is started with some commercial activities (deals for the sale of ore minerals) before being expanded to include the completion of industrial facilities to extract approximately 6 to 7 million tonnes of minerals annually, which is the objective of this agreement.
This partnership, which falls in the short, medium, and long term, aims to reach several stages. The first is the sale of raw minerals by the “Manal” complex or its units in favour of the “Ozmert” Company or its units within the framework of a commercial contract to sell 100,000 tonnes starting in 2022 to reach 500,000 tonnes with the year 2028.
In this regard, the contract for the iron metal sale was signed by the President and General Manager of MFE Spa, Mr Meziane Idir and Mr Adnan Tun, General Manager of the Turkish company.
During a speech on this occasion, Mr Arkab said that the contract for developing and valuing these mines and enriching iron ore, estimated at $175 million, would enable the country to supply the mining sector with the necessary raw materials without the need to import.
In the same context, he added, “The desired goal is to resurrect the iron mines in the Ouenza area and to obtain the raw material that we are currently importing”.
The minister noted that the bill for importing minerals amounted to one billion dollars in 2021 and could jump to the threshold of 2 billion dollars in 2025, which will save us significant sums.
“Manal” complex aspires to develop mining exploitation and valorisation in a short period, depending on the infrastructure and available means, according to what the Director of Development of the Manal Complex, Saadi Madjoudj, confirmed during his presentation of the project. Adding that the capacities in terms of these two minerals are estimated at 123 million tonnes, of which 77 million tonnes ready to be exploited.
As a reminder, Ozmert is a limited liability company established in 2007 and today owns an iron and steel plant with a capacity of producing 500,000 tonnes/year of liquid steel. The production unit is in the industrial zone of Tamzoura (Ain Temouchent). In the short term, the company looks to reach one million tonnes of liquid steel annually.