Present in Gabon for more than half a century, the Eramet mining and metallurgical group has confirmed the development of the future Okouma site, a manganese deposit that will be exploited by the Compagnie minière de l’Ogooué (Comilog), its Gabonese subsidiary.
It already controls the Bangombé plateau, located near Moanda (south-east of the country), whose unique manganese content makes Gabon one of the world’s main producers of this mineral. For the French group, the objective is clear: to increase Gabon’s overall manganese production capacity from 4.3 million tonnes/year in 2018 to 7 million in 2023. An increase in power which, according to the company’s estimates, will eventually reduce the cash cost of production of its manganese branch by around 20%, and increase its world market share to 15%, compared to 10% at present.
As for the estimated cost of the project, based on technical and economic feasibility studies, it should be around €640 million of investment over a period of 5 years. The financing has yet to be found. Quoted by Jeune Afrique, Léod-Paul Batolo, Comilog’s general manager, confirmed that his « company was looking for[these funds] for its Comilog 2020 project, which includes both the new mine and a laundry, as well as increasing storage in the railway station ».