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'We have been left with no choice' - Sundance commences arbitration against Cameroon gov't

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(Kitco News) - Sundance Resources said Wednesday it is commencing international arbitration against the Cameroon government.

The dispute involves the company's Mbalam-Nabeba iron ore project, which straddles the border of Cameroon and the Republic of Congo in Central Africa. In April 2011, Sundance completed the definitive feasibility study for stage one and pre-feasibility study for stage two.

CEO Giulio Casello said that the dispute concerns Cameroon's failure to implement an exploitation permit, and the country wants to award a mining license to another company.

"We have been left with no choice but to commence arbitration against the Government of Cameroon," said Casello. "Notwithstanding our good-faith attempts to achieve a negotiated settlement, the Government of Cameroon has refused to give effect to our mining licence and now appears to be working with the Government of Congo to strip us of our rights to the Mbalam-Nabeba project and grant them to Chinese parties, who have done nothing and spent nothing in either country, in stark contrast to our shareholders and stakeholders who have invested vast amounts of time and money to get this world-class iron ore project to the highly advanced stage it is at today."

On its website, Sundance said that the project scope involves the construction of a 510 km rail line dedicated to the transport of iron ore through Cameroon and a 70 km rail spur line connecting the Nabeba mines in Congo. It also includes the building of a dedicated mineral export terminal designed for taking bulk iron ore carriers of up to 300,000 tonnes.

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