Eramet Cameroon : becoming a major player in rutile production

With its subsidiary Eramet Cameroon, the Eramet Group is continuing its strategy of diversifying its portfolio of assets through mining exploration in strategic metals and in new countries. With its exploration project on the Akonolinga rutile block, the Group is seeking to strengthen its mineralized sands activities, currently operated in Senegal.

View of drilling operations for the mining exploration project led by Eramet Cameroon

Exploration confirms Akonolinga's rutile potential

After obtaining exploration permits in November 2019, Eramet Cameroon  was created in December that same year.

Eramet Cameroon received five exploration permits from local officials, which cover 2,500 sq. km around the town of Akonolinga, located 135 kilometers from Yaounde. 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 – mainly from the group's exploration unit – 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. 

About rutile

Rutile is a mineralized sand used in the production of pigments, the manufacture of paints and of aircraft cockpits. With an estimated potential of nearly three million tons, Cameroon has the second largest rutile reservoir in the world (after Sierra Leone), of which 500,000 tons are located in Akonolinga.

View of Akonolinga's landscape in 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. In particular, an extensive social study has been carried out with census work and a scoping study based on resource certification, between late 2021 and early 2022.