French mining group Eramet has temporarily suspended its operations in Gabon after a military coup on Wednesday morning in the Central African nation.
Eramet, which is the world’s largest producer of high-grade manganese ore, has halted all activities in Gabon following the overnight events. This has led to a significant drop in the company’s shares, as investors react to the uncertain situation.
Eramet, through its local subsidiary, employs around 8,000 people in Gabon. It operates the Moanda mines, which are the largest manganese mines in the world. Manganese ore is an important mineral used in steelmaking and batteries, making Eramet’s operations in Gabon crucial for global supply.
The decision to suspend operations was made as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of Eramet’s staff and the integrity of its operations. The company activated procedures to monitor the situation closely and take appropriate actions as needed. Both the Comilog and Setrag operations, which are involved in manganese mining and train transport respectively, have been halted.
The military coup in Gabon occurred after the state election body announced President Ali Bongo’s victory in a third term. A group of senior Gabonese military officers took to television to declare their takeover of power. The situation remains fluid, and Eramet is closely monitoring the developments.
The Moanda mine plays a significant role in Eramet’s manganese production. In 2022 alone, the mine produced 7.5 million tonnes of high-grade ore. This ore is then transformed into manganese alloys, which are essential for the production of carbon steel. Manganese alloys find applications in various industries, including construction and automotive.
Gabon’s rich reserves of oil and minerals have made it an attractive destination for mining companies like Eramet. The country is known for its abundance of manganese, which is a critical resource for industrial processes.
Eramet’s presence in Gabon has not only contributed to the company’s growth but has also provided employment opportunities for thousands of Gabonese workers.
The halt in operations due to the military coup is likely to have significant implications for Eramet’s business. The disruption in production and transport can impact the global supply of high-grade manganese ore, leading to potential shortages and price fluctuations. It also raises concerns about the safety and security of mining operations in politically unstable regions.
Eramet’s decision to prioritize the security of its staff and operations reflects its commitment to responsible corporate citizenship. The company understands the importance of maintaining a safe working environment and protecting its employees in challenging circumstances. By suspending operations, Eramet aims to mitigate any potential risks and ensure the well-being of its workforce.
As the situation in Gabon continues to unfold, Eramet will closely monitor the developments and evaluate the appropriate course of action. The company’s priority remains the safety of its employees and the preservation of its operations.
With its expertise in mining and commitment to sustainable practices, Eramet will navigate through these uncertain times and strive to resume its operations in Gabon at the earliest opportunity.