French law firm advises CMEC on US$5billion Belinga iron ore project in Gabon

May 30, 2008

May 30 (Mineweb) – Gide Loyrette Nouel has advised China National Machinery & Equipment Import & Export Corporation (CMEC) in Gabon in connection with the development of the Bélinga iron ore mine, which ore reserves would exceed 560 million tons, with 64% iron ore content. Gide Loyrette Nouel assisted CMEC in drafting and negotiating a mining convention, which was signed between the Republic of Gabon and Compagnie Minière de Bélinga (COMIBEL) on May 24, 2008 in Libreville. Shareholders of COMIBEL include the Republic of Gabon (25%), CMEC, Panzhihua Iron & Steel Group and other individual shareholders. The mining convention provides for the construction of major infrastructures in Gabon such as a 3 x 50MW hydroelectric plant and  560-km railroad and deep sea harbor facilities. Construction and development of the mine should last approximately four years and CMEC anticipates investing US$ five billion in this project. Output of the mine is expected to reach 20-30 million tons per year. 

CMEC retained the Mining, Oil & Gas Practice Group of Gide Loyrette Nouel to provide the legal assistance necessary to implement the project, including the drafting and negotiation of the articles of association of COMIBEL, the mining convention as well as the engineering, procurement and construction contracts, operation and maintenance contracts and off-take contracts. Gide Loyrette Nouel dedicated four lawyers of its Mining, Oil & Gas Practice Group to the Bélinga project, including Partner François Krotoff, and Associates Simon Cudennec and Véronique Bourg in Paris and Nicolas Bonnefoy in London, together with the assistance of its Beijing office.

With 700 lawyers worldwide, Gide Loyrette Nouel can rely on the support of a network of 20 international offices, including three offices in North Africa (Algiers, Casablanca and Tunis), three offices in China (Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong) and three offices in the Middle East (Riyadh,   the two offices of Dubai and Abu Dhabi opening soon).

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