Algeria and China signed a memorandum of understanding to exploit the largest iron mine in the country.
The Algerian News Agency reported that a memorandum of understanding was signed between the National Iron and Steel Corporation “Feral” and a consortium of Chinese companies to exploit the iron mine in Gara Djbeilet (Tindouf State), in the far southwest of the country.
The signing ceremony took place at the headquarters of the Ministry of Energy and Mines in the capital, Algeria, in the presence of Minister of Energy Mohamed Arkab and Chinese Trade Adviser to Algeria, Zhao Dongliang.
The memorandum of understanding concluded with the Chinese consortium formed of “CWI” “MCC” and “Hiday Solar” companies provides for studies and works that will be carried out by the two parties with the aim of launching a project to develop iron ore deposits in Gara Djbeilet.
And Mohamed Arkab announced last January that this huge project would be launched this month, and the goal is to produce 12 million tons annually of iron.
He indicated that Algeria plans to give up importing iron from 2025, which will allow it to save two billion dollars annually.
The fields of iron mines in Gara Djbeilet contain a significant percentage of iron (more than 50 percent) and are easy to exploit because they are located in open space with reserves estimated at 3.5 billion tons.
The minerals of Gara Djbeilet are distributed in three locations: Gara al-Gharb, Gara al-Wasat, and Gara al-Sharq, which represents a total area of 40,000 hectares.
Last January, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune called for expediting the exploitation of the Gara Djbeilet mine.
In 2015, the Algerian government announced its intention to exploit the Gara Djbeilet mine, with a value ranging between 15 and 20 billion dollars.
The Djbeilet cave is located 130 km southeast of the city of Tindouf and was discovered in 1952.