Avima Iron ore Limited is a leading Sub- Saharan iron ore producer that delivers 3 million tonnes per annum in phase 1 to Asian steel mills imminently. “Avima is one of the largest Premium Quality world-class iron ore deposits in Africa,” said Socrates Vasiliades the executive chairman.
Avima has direct access to world-class transport and export infrastructure including a permanent arrangement with the newly built Kribi deep seaport to store and handle the companies’ iron ore volumes.
Production of 65% Fe fines and lump with low impurities is sold under long term contracts to Asian steelmakers. “It is a premium product that remains in high demand from the steel mills,” Socrates Vasiliades said.
Due to the high-grade quality of Avima, the mining operation is considered low cost as > 65% fe is mined which does not require further processing other than screening. The strip ratio is also low. These factors make Avima a unique world-class deposit.
Avima is significant, as high-grade iron-ore is continuous over a 40 km strike, with up to 90 million-ton-a-year mine life estimated. It is located in the northwest Republic of Congo and borders Gabon to the West and is 50 kilometers South of the Cameroon border. The deposit is among the highest-quality and lowest-cost projects in Africa.
Iron ore shall be trucked 550 kilometers to Kribi port and loaded on cape size vessels. “The larger vessels such as cape size generally means freight rates will be competitive.” Socrates Vasiliades said.
In recent years newly built roads and extensive refurbishment of existing roads have taken place in both the Republic of Congo and Cameroon. This has allowed Avima to utilize the new road network and haul the iron ore to the port by road train competitively.
The company underwent a detailed process that has resulted in the selection and engagement of best in class mining and logistic contractors. The appointed contractors have a long successful history in the African mining industry. “It is important the selected contractors which we view as long term partners have experience and understand working in African countries,” Socrates Vasiliades said.
Avima is planning to ramp production up to 90 million tonnes per year. This will require a new railway system in the country and expansion of the port facilities at Kribi. The rollout is intended over the next 3 to 4 years. “We are reasonably advanced in our phase 2 production plans”.
Both the Republic of Congo and Cameroon are stable environments and both are committed to expanding their natural resources and infrastructure. Avima’s operations are of strategic benefit for both the Republic of Congo and Cameroon. The company enjoys strong political support from both countries. The development of Avima is integral to that of the Central Africa region, as Avima will contribute significantly to the national economies of both countries.
“The business aims to create jobs and provide skills training for local communities and there will also be benefits from improvements to the country’s infrastructure.” Socrates Vasiliades said.