Gabon – The President of the Republic of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba on Friday inaugurated Moanda’s Metallurgical Complex (known as CMM), which will mark the first ever processing of manganese in Gabon.
CMM, which is located in the province of Haut-Ogooué in South-East Gabon, is a project initiated by the Compagnie Minière de l’Ogooué (COMILOG) as part of a partnership between Eramet and Gabon’s state-owned mining company Société Equatoriale des Mines (SEM), which possesses 28.45% of the shares of the joint venture.
The complex consists of two plants: one of silicomanganese and another of metal manganese.
The silicomanganese plant has a capacity of 65 000 tpa and has been operational since august 2014, while the second plant (metal manganese plant) with a capacity of 20 000 tpa has been in operation since January 2015.
The CCM project, which required an investment of US$300 million, is fuelled by electric power generated from the Grand Poubara dam. The facility, which was built by the Gabonese government, accounts for an investment of $400 million.
“The development of CMM is in line with the intention of industrialising Gabon’s mining sector, a sector which brings growth considering the country’s mineral resources potential.
The complex will enable Gabon to play a bigger role in the manganese value chain as opposed to just the mining of the manganese. It will also create and develop local skills through the beneficiation of manganese,” says SEM CEO Fabrice Nze-Bekale.
CMM marks a major move for the materialisation of the will of the Head of State to increase the rate of local processing of the natural resources produced in Gabon.
On 1 June 2013, during the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, the President of the Republic of Gabon stated that “developing the African economy consist in permanently linking it to technical progress”.
He further urged industry to establish fairer and more equitable rules for the transfer of technologies and called on industry to set 2020 as the date after which no commodity from Africa be exported without primary processing on the continent first.
In September 2014, the government transferred its interests in COMILOG (28.45%) to SEM.
COMILOG, which has a total of 37.6 Mt of proven manganese, produced 3.7 Mt of Manganese in 2013, making Gabon the second largest producer of high grade manganese in the world.
Gabon’s reserves of manganese are estimated at 250 Mt.