Searching for mineral sands in Cameroon

In 2019, Cameroon gave Eramet permission to conduct exploration work on the rutile block in Akonolinga, located 135 km from Yaoundé. The goal was to examine the potential for this project, which could make Cameroon a major player in the production of rutile, a natural form of titanium dioxide used to manufacture pigments (for paints, paper or plastics) and titanium metal, the latter of which is essential for producing lighter aircraft frames thanks its low density and high mechanical resistance to corrosion. 

View of a drilling operation within Eramet's exploration project in Cameroon

Eramet Cameroun: exploration work has begun

After obtaining exploration permits in November 2019, Eramet Cameroun (Eracam) was created in December that same year.

Eramet Cameroun received five exploration permits from local officials, which cover 2,500 sq. km around the town of Akonolinga, located in the center of the country. This perimeter encompasses multiple administrative zones and departments, as well as a portion of the Nyong river. To assist with the project, Eramet chose BEIG 3, a Cameroonian geo-services company, and Eijkelkamp, a Dutch company specialized in drilling.

In December 2019, a team of twelve people from Eramet, BEIG 3 and Eijkelkamp began the exploration work. The first step: to mark out the five exploration zones covered under the five permits. Afterward, soil samples were taken and sent for analysis to Eramet Ideas, the Group’s research and innovation center, in order to determine the thickness and rutile content of the mineral sands. 

View of mineral sands

An opportunity for development

This project would allow the Group to expand its offering of mineral sands products. This development is fully in line with Eramet’s strategy to develop a diversified portfolio of assets by exploring for strategic metals in new countries. Furthermore, since the Group has gained substantial experience in mineral sands production through its Senegalese subsidiary, GCO, it already possesses the expertise needed to harness these resources in Cameroon. In addition to this project, and in order to cultivate a long-term partnership with the Cameroonian government, Eramet hopes to identify other opportunities in the country for metals already exploited by the Group, particularly nickel and cobalt. 

View of Akonolinga region, in the center of Cameroon

Responsible exploration

A responsible, committed company that knows how to give back, Eramet develops its projects according to the best international standards for the environment, ethics, and social welfare. Our development strategy for all of the Group’s subsidiaries is to establish strong, lasting ties in our host countries, built on partnerships with all of our stakeholders. As part of this exploration work in Cameroon, a tracking committee composed of local representatives has already been set up to supervise the project’s development.  

  • For more information, download the press pack.
  • And for more information on the Group’s other development projects, click here.