China’s new front in the trade war with Australia — Africa – by Ian Verrender (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – July 4, 2021)

The end came as a bitter finale to a decades-long tale of intrigue and tragedy. High up in the mountains straddling the border between Cameroon and the Republic of Congo, Perth-based mining minnow Sundance Resources saw its future extinguished amidst accusations of deceit and corruption.

After more than six months of wrangling and threats of legal action with the Congo government, Sundance boss Giulio Casello discovered to his horror that his former partner, an Australian-domiciled company with Chinese government links, had snared his company’s major asset.

Working in tandem with another Beijing-linked group, it had snared the rights to develop one of west Africa’s most promising iron ore deposits, the Mbalam-Nabeba project which has been Sundance’s main focus for more than 15 years.

“The government of Cameroon has refused to effect 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 partners who have done nothing and spent nothing in either country,” an incensed Mr Casello thundered.

That’s not entirely correct. While those particular companies may not have outlaid any capital in the two West African nations, Beijing long has had an eye on the resource-rich but impoverished countries that dot the Atlantic coast.

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