Monday, February 19, 2018

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Gabon and Morocco cooperation

 Libreville, March 6, 2014
 – Today, Gabon and Morocco signed two agreements which lay the foundations of an ambitious common policy for the enhancement of their respective natural resources and the industrialization of their economies. The first agreement is meant to consolidate a strategic partnership so as to develop an industrial fertiliser industry, a major challenge for the agriculture in the continent. The second one, acknowledging the quick development of the mining activity, provides for cooperation as regards training and sharing of experience.

On the occasion of a visit the king “Mohamed VI” made in Libreville, Gabon and Morocco, which have been developing intensively their cooperation in various fields for several years, signed two partnerships in the field of natural resources.

“The agreements we signed with Morocco are totally in line with the new policy we are implementing in Gabon so as to improve the management of natural resources » Régis Immongault, the Gabonese Minister of Mines , the Industry and Tourism explained.

« By counting on the existing synergies between our countries, we are planning to both optimize natural resources’ exploration and extraction, but also upgrade them by creating a local processing industry » Fabrice Nzé-Békalé, the CEO of SEM (Société Equatoriale des Mines) stated. SEM (Société Equatoriale des Mines) is the main tool of the country, along with the Ministry of Mines, for the promotion of its mining potential.

Create an industrial fertiliser industry

Based on the determination of both countries to develop at best their respective natural resources, Morocco – which was represented by Moulay Hafid Elalamy and Dr. Abdelkader Amara, respectively Minister of the Industry, Commerce, Investment and Digital Economy and Minister of energy, Mines, Water and the environment, and by the OCP Group – and Gabon, represented by Régis Immongault and Etienne Ngoubou, respectively Minister of Mines and Minister of Oil and Hydrocarbons and the SEM, signed a partnership for the creation of an industrial fertiliser industry.

Morocco has indeed large phosphates resources, which are exclusively exploited by the OCP Group which became the world’s leader in the extraction and processing of such ore. Gabon, as for it, has large reserves of natural gas and potential resources in phosphates and potash.

According to British Petroleum (Statistical Review of World Energy – 2010), Gabon has more than 30 billion cubic meters of proved natural gas. The government is currently conducting a proactive policy for the exploitation of such reserves through the implementation of a master plan and the creation of a Code of Oil providing investors with a more attractive environment. The development of a petrochemical industry and the production of electricity are currently the priority markets for the use of such natural gas.

As for phosphates, the Gabonese soil contains two types thereof:

  • Magmatogenic ones, related to the Mabounié’s carbonatite alkaline complex which contains phosphates and niobium in connectivity. Phosphates resources are around 140 million of tons with 24% P2O5 and metal niobium resources are estimated at 3 million of tons of an ore with an average grade of 1.3% Nb2O5. The project for the exploitation of the deposit is operated by the French mining group, Eramet. This is a world-class deposit. The Ngoutou’s alkaline complex, which is located east of the country, has characteristics similar to those of the Mabounié’s complex.
  • Sedimentary ones, which indices were reported along Gabon’s Atlantic cost over around 300km, from north of Sette Kama to Cap Esterias. There, phosphates are contained in rocks made up of marls and boulder clay in the base of the Senonian.

The Gabon and Morocco’s upgrading of such large resources through a joint structure will then allow the creation of an integrated industry for the production of fertilisers, a strategic sector in Africa as part of the necessary development of the continent’s agricultural production.

The agreement provides that such joint venture will be based both in Gabon and Morocco, and that it will be totally integrated in so far as it will cover all the activities, from the mining production to the marketing of fertilizers, including the production of ammonia and phosphoric acid.

Accelerate the exploitation of Gabon’s mining potential

A second agreement was signed between SEM and ONHYM (l’Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines du Maroc). It establishes a scientific and technical partnership between both companies.

Faced with the quick development of the mining activity in Gabon, SEM is concretely planning to take advantage of the experience and expertise gained by the ONHYM in mines and oil.

The fields of practical cooperation will be as follows:

  • training and sharing of experience, especially in regards to mining research, exploration techniques (geology, metallogeny, geophysics, geochemistry, hyperspectral remote sensing…), information systems and database organization, laboratory techniques (mineralogy, minerallurgy, chemical analyses, assaying …), investment management and environmental issues ;
  • structuring and joint development of mining exploration projects on the sites which will be suggested by SEM; · ONHYM investment and the creation of joint ventures (ONHYM, SEM and other partner) for the mining exploration on the sites that will be suggested by SEM;
  • Cooperation in the field of governance and the management of the mining sector
  • Joint organisation of studies seminars


A new management of natural resources for the development of Gabon

Created on August 24, 2011, by a presidential decree, the Société Equatoriale des Mines’ main mission is to improve the Gabonese people’s life by making them benefit, in total transparency and fairness, from the responsible development of the mineral resources which abound in the country’s soil. The company’s actions are completely in line with the strategy for the development of the Emerging Gabon initiated by President Ali Bongo Ondimba since 2009.

A State-owned company with a private-company’s management, SEM is involved in the whole value chain of the mining industry, from exploration to marketing, and has the ambition to become a world-class mining company creating value for Gabon through excellence.

Their main missions are:

  • management of the government’s investments in mining companies;
  • exploration and promotion of Gabon’s mining area ;
  • development and exploitation of mining rights in Gabon and abroad, on their own or in partnership ;
  • promotion of the local processing of the ores mined
  • marketing of the ores mined
  • support to the mining industry’s players

In order to achieve its objectives, on a daily basis, SEM acts up to their values: loyalty, entrepreneurship, integrity and the respect of their working environment, for the legislation and for individuals.

For further information, please contact

Mrs. Isabelle De Pina
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel.: (+241) 01 72 20 88
Twitter: @gabonmining
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LinkedIn: SEM – Gabon Mining