Pan African Minerals receives permission from Burkina Faso for Tambao manganese project
Pan African Minerals, a Nigeria-based subsidiary of Timis, has received permission from the Burkina Faso Government for the development of a Tambao manganese project in the country.
Timis chairman Frank Timis was quoted by Reuters as saying: "The Tamboa project is an integrated project with a mining component and an infrastructure component, notably through the roads, railway and the port.
"This project will happen in the next three years and will require investment of nearly $1bn."
According to Pan African Minerals Burkina Faso head Souleymane Mihin, the investment would be shared out between Timis, Canadian asset management firm Dundee and natural resources fund CD Capital.
The mine, which is located north of Burkina Faso near the Niger and Mali border, is estimated to have more than 100 million tonnes of manganese, which is used in the production of steel.
Once operational, the mine is expected to produce approximately three million tonnes of metal per year.
Timis said the Tamboa mine will be the biggest manganese mine in the world and is a priority for the West African country's government, as it seeks to diversify its economy away from reliance on gold and cotton.
Pan African Minerals had won exploration rights for the project in 2012, and it received the exploitation permit after two years.
Burkina Faso Mines Minister Salif Kabore said extraction from the mine was set to begin in July and that the commodity would be for sale on international markets starting from December 2014 or January 2015.
Mihin noted that the shipments of manganese would begin by road in October 2014, while the shipments by rail would commence in one to two years.