Sable Wins Right to Export Guinean Ore Through Liberia

Sable Mining Africa Ltd. (SBLM) has won permission to export iron ore from its Nimba mine in Guinea through neighboring Liberia, increasing prospects that it will start production in 2015.

The Guinean decree will enable Sable to transport the steelmaking ingredient to the port of Buchanan, the company said in a statement today. Sable rose 7.8 percent to 10.25 pence by the close in London trading, the highest since March 6.

Sable was last week granted a mining license for Nimba, which contains a reserve of about 135 million metric tons of iron ore. The company said it would seek to transport the ore by train from the project in southeast Guinea through Liberia, where ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, operates a mine and rail line to the harbor at Buchanan.

“The issuance of our export decree, the first granted by the Government of the Republic of Guinea, is a major endorsement for Sable Mining and represents yet another critical milestone achieved by our team,” Chief Executive Officer Andrew Groves said in the statement.

The Guinean government is reviewing some mining licenses as it seeks to improve transparency in the industry. Besides bauxite, an aluminum ingredient, Guinea has vast reserves of iron ore, gold and diamonds. Rio Tinto Group, BHP Billiton Ltd., the biggest mining company, and Vale SA are among those with projects in the country.

Rio, the world’s second-largest mining company, said last month that its $20 billion Simandou iron-ore project in Guinea may start in 2018 at the earliest, three years behind the initial target, pending completion of funding.

Sable was founded by Groves and former England cricketer Philippe Edmonds. The pair previously operated Central African Mining & Exploration Co., which they sold to Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. for about 584 million pounds ($943 million) in 2009.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Biesheuvel in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at

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