Libreville, Gabon — MININGREVIEW.COM — 25 October 2010 – The government of Gabon and Chinese mining enterprise CITIC Dameng “’ a unit of CITIC Resources Holdings “’ are expecting to mine over 26Mt of manganese from their M’Bembele mine over the next 25 years.
A statement issued here confirmed that the agreement, which was signed this week, has no confirmed start-up date at this stage. It comes ahead of a planned separate listing for CITIC Dameng on the main board in Hong Kong.
Gabon, the number No. 2 producer of manganese, is seeking to boost its output of the metal as part of a drive to diversify its economy away from dependence on oil and French companies.
Zhang Longzhu “’ vice president of CICMHZ, the local company created to run the M’Bembele operation in Gabon’s Moyen-Ogooue province “’ said that reserves were estimated at over 26Mt.
Minister of mines Julien Nkoghe Bekale said 40 billion CFA (R58 million) would be invested in the project and production would start at around 800 000tpa and peak at just over 1Mtpa over a period of about 25 years.
Neither official gave a start-up date for the operation.
Gabon’s manganese output slumped to around 2.2Mt in 2009 due to falling demand, after hitting 3.1Mt. President Ali Bongo is seeking to boost the sector as his country’s oil reserves start winding down.