Burkina Faso will proceed with plans to end its agreement with a unit of Timis Mining Corp. to mine a $1 billion manganese deposit even though a dispute about the operation is still pending at the International Court of Arbitration.
The West African nation will give Pan African Minerals 90-days notice in May that the deal for the Tambao deposit is being withdrawn, Mining Minister Oumarou Idani said Wednesday on state-owned television. The company has failed to build rail and road infrastructure that were part of the agreement, Idani said.
Pan African was told to stop production in 2015 after a change in leadership in Burkina Faso. The company then petitioned the Paris-based arbitration court to prevent its permit from being withdrawn. With estimated reserves of 100 million metric tons, Tambao is the world’s largest resource of manganese.
Souleymane Mihin, managing director of Pan African Minerals, said by phone he couldn’t comment because the court case is ongoing.
Burkina Faso has received interest from other parties to develop the mine, Idani said.
Tambao was the focus of an earlier rights dispute between Burkina Faso and Dubai-based Wadi al Rawda Investments LLC, which signed an exploitation agreement in 2007. The dispute was settled in 2013.