We just got word late last week that Arcelor SA and Mittal Steel Co.NV, signed agreements worth $2.2 billion with the government of Senegal to mine iron ore in the West African nation. The total estimated ironore reserves are around 750 million metric tons at four locations in the Faleme region of southeast Senegal.
Let us review the equation:For Senegal, $2.2 billion for 750 million metric tons.
The Liberia deal was $900 million for 1 billion metric tons.
Of course, this is a gross over-simplification. The project in Senegalinvolves developing the mine, building a new port near Dakar and laying467 miles of railway to link the mine and the port. This leads to further speculation. A new hypothesis.
Liberia is already partly developed. Rehabilitation is cheaper thanbuilding from scratch. More profits for Mittal Steel... to take withthem to Senegal for their future project, due to start in 2011? Nowonder they were in such a hurry to get things going in Liberia. They are a big company, why should we begrudge them any part of theirprofit or their global ambitions?