Algeria resurrects the ” megaproject » of operation from the Gara Djebilet or Ghara Djebilet iron deposit located nearly 140 km southeast of Tindouf and whose reserves are estimated at 3.5 billion tonnes. To do this, the Algerian national iron and steel company (Feraal) had concluded in 2021 a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese consortium, made up of China International Water & Electric Corp, Heyday Solar and the steel company Metallurgical Corp. Of China.
But let it be said! exploitation cannot be done wisely and despite all the hope placed for this purpose. After multiple unsuccessful attempts and despite the senile regime of Algiers seeming convinced that this time it will realize a dream it has been nurturing for decades, it turned out that the ore with too high a phosphorus content, can only be exploited after having been dephosphorized, which would add to the costs and therefore call into question the profitability.
Algeria and China should invest no less than two billion dollars for this project, which tends to supply the Algerian metallurgical and steel industry and develop the country’s resources, excluding hydrocarbons.
To date, there is no safe and clean industrial process allowing the enrichment and dephosphorization of phosphorous oolitic iron ores, whose estimates would be around one billion tonnes for the Gara Ouest deposit alone, not to mention the deposits of East and Center Gara, and which would represent a total of 2 billion tons.
Enough to fill the pockets of the Algerian leaders. The objective therefore, of this project to appease the internal social climate in Algeria, to build an industrial “complex” for the production of 12 million tons of iron per year could therefore suffer greatly.
The launch of the exploitation of the iron mines of Gara Djebilet raises some observations, on the Moroccan side, knowing that Morocco and Algeria had agreed, within the framework of “a cooperation agreement for the development of the Gara Djebilet mine”annexed to the Treaty on Borders, signed in 1972, to set up “aan Algerian-Moroccan company for the development of the Gara Djebilet mine (SAM)” for the extraction and marketing, and possibly processing, of 700 million tonnes, the annual rate of which should be determined by the two parties.
As a reminder, the announcement of the conclusion by Algeria of an agreement for the exploitation of this deposit is not the first of its kind. Previous agreements and attempts to launch the project had previously failed. The objective today is to accelerate the industrialization of this site, which has become mythical over time and which we promise without any conviction, to a decisive valuation for the Algerian mining sector.
Classified as a national priority by the senile regime of Algiers, the Gara Djebilat operation, which according to the Moroccan-Algerian Declaration made in Rabat on June 15, 1972 on the drawing of borders and signed by the late King Hassan II and Houari Boumediene, was to be entrusted to a mixed company of the two countries. According to the terms of the bilateral agreement, the Tindouf deposit, a sensitive point of the conflict in the Moroccan Sahara, is under the “sovereignty” of the Algerians, but Morocco has “possibilities of evacuation and loading of iron ore through a Moroccan port located on the Atlantic» that he should offer to the joint venture.
Let’s follow other looks! If Morocco had welcomed this “arrangement”, this was not the case of the Algerian regime which had not accepted the sharing and the mixed exploitation, which moreover, could never take place.
With time and the question of the Moroccan Sahara, the convention was relegated to oblivion until recently. Indeed, Algeria has however brandished it half a century later, and this time, it was to justify the illegal expulsion of date growers from the oasis of El Arja (Figuig).
In Algeria, the people are told that the Gara Djebilet mine project has long been put on the back burner for nearly 70 years, since the discovery of the mine in 1952 during the period of French colonialism, no authority in the country has was able to win the Gara Djebilet challenge, due to the difficult terrain of the site. Economists even go so far as to attribute the reason for this delay to the various financial crises that Algeria has experienced since the mid-1980s.
In reality, this unpromising project is only intended for the western neighbor and with the illustration of the recent affair of the Guir wadi as for that of El Arja before, with politico-diplomatic inclinations well and truly well pre-established by the senile diet of the Muppet Show made in Algeria, it’s wrapped up to go.
Moreover, China, which wants to remain neutral at all costs in this Algerian-Moroccan conflict mounted to the East of Eden, has tried to dissuade the Chinese consortium from getting heavily involved in this project so as not to offend Morocco and jeopardize Chinese interests in the Moroccan market.
Indeed, the Chinese authorities do not appreciate that this economic project desired by Algiers finds itself at the heart of a major political dispute between Algeria and Morocco. But hey, China meanwhile, has woken up.