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The Gabonese government transfers its holdings in COMILOG to the Société Equatoriale des Mines

Libreville, September 29 2014 - The Société Equatoriale des Mines is assigned the management of the 28.45% stake of the Gabonese government in the Compagnie Minière de l'Ogooué (COMILOG), a subsidiary of ERAMET. Such transfer, which is in line with the Strategic Plan for an Emerging Gabon (PSGE, in French) strengthens the partnership between Gabon and the French group .

In line with the Strategic Plan for an Emerging Gabon (PSGE, in French) and the creation of the Société Equatoriale des Mines, the Gabonese government transferred SEM all the shares (28.45%) it owns in the Compagnie Minière de l'Ogooué (COMILOG), a subsidiary of the French group, ERAMET.

"This decision is consistent with the strategy contained in the PSGE and designed by the President of the Republic, Head of State. Such strategy, which was reasserted during the last National Forum for the Industry, aims at boosting the mining sector. From now on, SEM, an organization under the technical supervision of the Ministry of Mines, will manage the shares of the government in the sector. This new configuration will allow the Ministry to focus on its main missions: design the mining policy, grant mining permits, promote, regulate and control the mining sector as well as implement the strategy for the processing of mineral resources." Mr. Regis Immongault, the Minister of Mines, Industry and Tourism, indicates.

SEM is a public limited company wholly owned by the Gabonese government. The PSGE assigns it with operational missions including owning and managing, on behalf of the government, its shares in mining companies and developing mining permits on its own or in partnership with operators.

This reorganization is aimed at reinforcing the role of the government, via SEM, as the strategic partner of mining companies in the development of the Gabonese mining sector, with the view to increase the contribution of the latter to the GDP to the same level as hydrocarbons. In 2013, their contributions stood at 6% and 46% respectively.

This is an objective defined within Gabon's National Strategy for Industrialization (SNI), which maps out the economic diversification of the country. The SNI derives from the PSGE which is based on three pillars among which the "Industrial Gabon".

Transferring these shares is a new step in the long-time partnership between the Gabonese government and ERAMET. "COMILOG is an example of the successful private-public partnership in a highly strategic sector. The objective of SEM is to contribute to the development of COMILOG's activities, in an even more active manner. The transfer of the shares of government assigns SEM to fulfill its missions defined as part of the Strategic Plan for an Emerging Gabon (PSGE, in French)." Fabrice Nze-Bekale, the CEO of SEM, states.

Last August, COMILOG started the operations of Moanda's Metallurgical Complex. This project, with a worth of FCFA 150 billion (US300 million) is made of two plants. A pyro-metallurgical plant of silico-manganese, with a production capacity of 65,000 tons per annum, is already operational. As for the hydrometallurgical plant with a capacity of 20,000 tons per annum, its production will start in October 2014.

The commencement of the activities of Moanda's Metallurgical Complex required the construction by the Gabonese government of an hydroelectric dam, Grand Poubara, at a cost of FCFA 200 billion (US400 million).

Another major development of the partnership between the Gabonese government and ERAMET is the construction, through a private-public partnership, of Moanda's School of Mining and Metallurgy in order to meet the industry's demand for skilled labor. The school will open in 2016 and train advanced technicians and engineers.