Liberian President George Weah still hasn't made a decision regarding renegotiation of ArcelorMittal's railway monopoly, even though a report on the issue was submitted a month ago. That delay is causing concern for mining operators, and Washington.
To supply his steel mills, India's Naveen Jindal has set his sights on the Zogota deposit in Guinea, whose licence quietly fell back into state hands last year. The junta leader is backing the plan, and Niron Metals, the site's official owner, has given up all hope of developing the project.
Rumours still abound in Guinea about the aeroplane that received a warm welcome from the military junta when it landed on 20 December in Conakry. The aircraft's owner has not been officially named but clues suggest it belongs to the Indian conglomerate Jindal Steel & Power, which has bases in Africa.
From Singapore to Monrovia, via New York and Conakry, the American-Canadian tycoon Robert Friedland is one of the global mining sector's most flamboyant figures. Well established in the DR Congo, he is working behind the scenes in Conakry and Monrovia to expand his empire in West Africa.