2017: a record year for the Manganese division, driven by strong carbon steel production, particularly in China

After hitting a through in 2016, manganese ore prices recovered in 2017. The Manganese division achieved great results, boosting the Group’s overall performance. The Division first took full advantage of the healthy trends in manganese ore prices. Prices remained at an all-time high, rising from 4.30 USD/dmtu on average in 2016 to 5.97 USD/dmtu in late 2017 (Mn CRU CIF Chine 44%). This vitality results directly from record production for carbon steel in 2017 (which represents 90% of manganese outlets) driven by construction and infrastructure programs in China and the rest of the world. This increase, reflecting a vibrant global economy, absorbed excess inventory and the ore supply from South African and Australian producers.

The Eramet group is #2 world producer of high-grade manganese ore. It operates one of the most competitive deposits in the world, Moanda in Gabon.

 

 

Turnover (in € millions)

The Manganese division’s sales were up sharply (+33%) in 2017 at €1,919m. They are the result of Eramet’s manganese business as well as mineral sands business.

 

Current Operating income (in € millions)

Current operating income ended at €738m (and more than three times 2016) in a particularly favourable market environment. It is the result of Eramet’s manganese business as well as mineral sands business.

 

Industrial capex (in € millions)

 

Against a backdrop of an improving market, in 2017 the Manganese division maintained its investments, focusing in particular on strategic items, safety and the environment, and on maintaining industrial equipment. The investment package required to increase the reliability of the Trans-Gabon rail network was continued in 2017 with the implementation of a multi-year plan for the refurbishment of the railway line. In particular, the manufacture of new sleepers and the renewal of the track superstructure are progressing full capacity. The aim of the proposed reform of SETRAG is to restore the railway’s original capacity.

 

 

Mining Production - Manganese ore and sinter (in € millions)

Efforts to make the railway line more reliable in Gabon (SETRAG, a 100% owned subsidiary of Comilog), combined with better mining performances, enabled Comilog to achieve a record level of 4.1 Mt of manganese ore produced and transported in 2017, versus a target of 4.0 Mt. The company confirmed its excellence position in the global high-grade manganese ore market.

 

Asset disposals program

Eramet disposed manganese chemical and recycling businesses in May 2017. 

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