Chief Executive Officer’s Remarks
The Société Equatoriale des Mines (SEM – « Gabon Mining ») is proud to present the very first newsletter dedicated to the Gabonese mining sector.

Gabon, with nearly 70% of its territory still unexplored, offers several opportunities to investors. Its new mining Code, which is currently being scrutinized by the country’s parliament, aims to guarantee operators an investment framework which is modern and better adapted to competition.

Gabon is a truly viable destination for investors. The obvious determination of the Government to increase the mining sector’s GDP and export shares suggests that mining will enjoy a promising future.

The newsletter will inform you of all the highlights of the news relevant to this highly potential sector.

We hope you will enjoy reading it !
Key figures
  • 17 billion FCFA (around US$34 million): the amount the Government paid CMEC to buy back the Belinga iron permit.
  • 4% and 6% : Contribution of the minig sector to GDP and the share of mining export.
  • 3.6 million tons : Estimates of COMILOG’s production of manganese for 2013.
  • 36,500 ounces (1,020 kg) : Managem’s gold production in 2013.
  • 69.7% and 49% : Rate of iron concentrate and iron yield level in Kango-North.
  • 33% - 40% : Average iron content in Mekambo-East.
  • 330 billion FCFA (around US$700 million) : turnover of the Gabonese Mining Union’s members in 2012.
  • 1,431 ounces (43 kg) : amount of gold collected by the CGCO in 2013.
Mining news
IRON: From now on the Government owns the Belinga deposit.

Following the delays noted in the development of the Belinga’s iron mining project, the Gabonese Government spent nearly US$34 million in favor of CMEC in order to recover all the mining rights for the Belinga deposit. By acquiring 180,000 shares with CMEC, the Government now owns 100% of the capital of COMIBEL, which was created in 2007 for the purpose of mining the deposit, which has an estimated 1 billion tons of iron.
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MANGANESE: A promising 2013 and COMILOG declares optimism for 2014.

After 2012, a year marked by a significant reduction in its production of manganese, COMILOG announced its predictions for 2013 synonymous of a return to an optimal production with a growth rate of 20% in its output. The Complexe Métallurgique de Moanda (CMM – “Moanda Metallurgical Complex” in English), which will employ 500 individuals, will become operational in 2014, and the company is expecting to produce 4 million tons of manganese ore.
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GOLD: Optimistic outlooks for Managem in 2013 and 2014

After a promising start in 2012, Managem envisions good results for 2013 thanks to its investments, which allow it to confront technical difficulties. At the start of its activities, the company had to deal with storms, which slowed down operations, and in 2013 it implemented the measures to overcome the mineralogical constraints, which accelerated the wear of the machines.
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IRON: Encouraging research results for Apollo Minerals Ltd.

Apollo Minerals Ltd has announced the results of its exploratory works and rock samples’ geochemical tests on its site in Kango-North, located in a geographical area, which is first class thanks to its proximity to transport and energy infrastructures. Such promising results allow the company to plan the mining phase. However, this step shall be preceded by an environmental impact assessment, due to the location of Kango-North in a buffer region.
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IRON: Waratah Resources Gabon SA publishes preliminary exploratory findings in Mekambo-East.

Waratah Resources, which is established in Gabon since 2011, conducts its exploratory operations in Mekambo-East region. Further to geochemical tests, the company announces very encouraging results for the rest of its operations. These results concern only half of the permit. Waratah Resources is considering implementing a local transformation strategy by sourcing coal from Overend Outsource.
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INTERVIEW: UMIGA speaks about their activities and the mining sector’s situation.

The Vice-President of the Union Minière du Gabon (UMIGA – Gabonese Mining Union) speaks about the developments in the Gabonese mining sector and the activities such organization, which gathers 16 operators. The UMIGA, which accounts for a total revenue of US$700 million and 4,000 jobs positions itself as a privileged interlocutor with the authorities. The trade union was involved in discussions on the new mining Code and also participates in the discussions on the sector‘s Guide.
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Institutional News
NEW MINING CODE: Gabon shows new ambitions for making the mining sector more attractive.

As part of its aim to make the mining sector more attractive, Gabon is about to adopt a new mining Code, which will meet the expectations of investors and address concerns about the protection of the environment and social responsibility. In particular, it involves the simplification of the exploration licensing process, rational management of mining resources and the establishment of the mining register. The new mining Code, which had been adopted by the Council of Ministers in April 2013, was presented to the Senate last October. It is expected to pass into law in 2014.
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Environment: Mining operators and NGOs on the verge of validating the sector Guide.

For several months, public institutions, mining operators and NGOs have been involved in discussions to validate the sector Guide, which is dedicated to evaluating the environmental impact of mining operations. The participants should agree on specific concepts, including the Environmental Commitment, the Environmental Declaration, the Environmental Impact Notice and the Environmental Impact Study. The Guide is a complement to the General Environmental Impact Studies Procedures Manual, and marks a considerable evolution in environmental regulation.
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SEM on the international stage
Mines and Money 2013: the SEM develops in own network in London.

The Societe Equatoriale des Mines played a part in the 2013 Mines and Money conference which took place in London last December. Its participation at this event, which included nearly 3,500 representatives from mining companies and the financial sector, aimed at developing its network and being a part of the evolution of capital markets in the sector with the goal of gaining a better understanding of the issues concerning the development of its activities.
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Event: SEM expresses an interest in the tax systems of West African countries.

SEM participated in the West African Mining Tax Forum, which was organized in Abidjan last October. The event, organized by EY Tax and Legal, united several delegations from West Africa, and it offered the participants a framework for interaction on tax issues in the mining sector. The objective of SEM was to gather and incorporate other taxation systems adapted to the sector and practiced in West Africa.
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Special dossier
Artisanal gold mining: the SEM at the heart of the development of the sector

In Gabon, the organization of artisanal gold mining is a major issue – one that is characterised by economical, social and environmental challenges. Part of the gold production from this activity is still beyond control of the Government. Miners, who work in small groups, possess only few financial and material means. In addition, they are still not aware of the environmental impact of their activities.

In January 2013, the SEM implemented an action programme to assist gold miners with the marketing of their production and to raise their awareness on good practices. Within less than a year of their implementation, innovative actions were already giving results ...
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