Gabon Coup Underscores Country’s Role as Key Manganese Supplier – by Mark Burton and Francois de Beaupuy (Bloomberg News – August 30, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — The coup in Gabon risks roiling global supplies of a key industrial metal, as the operator of the world’s largest manganese mine halts production as a precautionary measure.

While African nation is better known as an oil producer, Paris-based miner Eramet SA has been investing heavily in expanding manganese output in recent years.

That’s helped the former French colony become the world’s No. 2 supplier of a metal, which is a key ingredient in steelmaking and is finding growing usage in electric-vehicle batteries.

Eramet has stopped its manganese mining operations and train-transport operations in Gabon out of precaution, a spokesman for the company said by phone on Wednesday. Soldiers seized power four days after the central African country held disputed presidential elections. Shares of Eramet, which has been expanding its key Moanda mine, slumped as much as 22% in Paris.

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