JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Gabonese State-owned mining company Société Equatoriale des Mines (SEM) and Dubai-based group Navodaya Trading DMCC (NTDMCC) have announced a joint-venture (JV) partnership to explore and develop the manganese deposit in Okondja, in eastern Gabon.
The JV, dubbed Gabon Manganese & Ferroalloys, would be 85% owned by NTDMCC and 15% by SEM and would advance all activities related to the prospecting, exploration and mining of the deposit’s ore.
The company would also conduct the ore processing, conditioning, storage and marketing activities of the deposit, which, according to a 2005 report by the Brazilian mining group Vale, offers reserves of 27-million tons of manganese with a grade of between 35% and 40%.
“The findings of the initial works confirm the potential of the deposit and there is the possibility of adding to the reserves by prospecting in the surrounding plateaus,” commented SEM business development & strategy manager Dr Bareja Youmssi.
Exploration of the deposit would be funded by both partners in proportion to their shares in the project, while GMFA would be managed by a board of seven directors, appointed by both parties, and an executive board, headed by NTDMCC.