Thanks to its exacting approach at every step of the process, from quality to safety and environmental protection, Comilog is now the world's second-largest producer of manganese. This ore is mainly used in the manufacture of steel, ceramics, batteries and electronic circuits, and even in the food industry. For example, producing a ton of steel requires 7 kg of manganese – and Comilog produces over 4 million tons of it every year.
Cutting-edge expertise in mining…
The ore is extracted from an open-cast mine on the Bangombé plateau. This world-class deposit is one of the largest on the planet, with an ore content of 46% manganese. After the extraction, the ore is processed in a washery to be crushed, ground, washed and sorted, before being shipped to the Moanda Industrial Complex (CIM) for enrichment.
The ore enrichment process is designed to increase its manganese content to just over 50% through magnetic separation. Part of the enriched ore is directly sold, while another part goes through a pelletizing process in which the mineral is mixed with coke and exposed to high temperatures, which increases its manganese content to around 56%.
Unveiled in 2014, the Moanda Metallurgical Complex (C2M) develops two products: silicomanganese, an alloy used in the steel industry containing 69% manganese; and manganese metal (or EMM), which is found in high-grade steels and electronic devices such as batteries.
Once the processing is complete, the ore is sent by train to the Port of Owendo in Libreville. Transportation is handled by the Société d'exploitation du Transgabonais (Setrag), a Comilog subsidiary responsible for managing and maintaining the railway connecting the east and west of the country. On average, 6 million tons of ore and goods are transported to the port by railway every year. After traveling the 648 km between the mine and the coast, the ore is handled by the railway and port facilities department (DFIP).
…and ore transportation
Since 1989, the railway and port facilities department (DFIP), established at the Port of Owendo in Libreville, has been responsible for transporting the ore from the mine to the port, from storage to the loading the ore carriers, followed by shipment to the Group's processing plants in France, Norway and the US, or directly to the customer.
A proactive and committed corporate citizen
Comilog's activities are conducted in strict compliance with an ethical charter and a CSR roadmap in line with the international standards of the United Nations. As the second-largest private employer in Gabon, Comilog has set itself the mission of supporting the country's economic and social development through its activities, as well as its many socially responsible commitments. From protecting the environment and biodiversity to constructing social infrastructures (housing, hospitals, maternity wards, schools, restaurants) and training the younger generations, Comilog works on a daily basis in partnership with the local authorities and communities in order to improve together.
Preserving biodiversity at Lékédi Park
Outside of its mining activities, Comilog also works to protect the environment and preserve biodiversity with Lékédi Park, a nature reserve that lies on the site of its old cable car, which was decommissioned at the end of the 1980s. Unveiled in 1994, the park is now run by Société d’Exploitation du Parc de la Lékédi (SODEPAL), a subsidiary of Comilog. It is primarily devoted to the protection of monkeys, apes and other primates, and has been accredited by the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) since 2017. The park is home to gorillas and chimpanzees orphaned by the bushmeat trade, who will be placed in programmes to reintroduce them to the wild, whenever possible. To reaccustom them to life in the wild, the primates are allowed daily outings under the supervision of a handler, so that they can relearn what life is like in the bush. The park also contains several troops of mandrills that roam freely. Since 2012, they have been studied by an international team of researchers, and are also the only mandrills in the world to be used to the presence of humans. The 14,000 hectares of savannah and rainforest that span the park are monitored daily by experts from SODEPAL, who look after the safety and well-being of their residents. Lékédi Park also educates the public on the importance of preserving biodiversity through ecotourism programs, scientific traineeships, and partnerships with local schools.
World number 2 producer of high-grade manganese ore
25% of global mineral reserves
4.3 Mt of manganese mineral produced in 2018
4 sites near Gabon, nearly 2,000 employees