Mining – a cornerstone of the Togolese economy

Togo’s significant gold, iron ore and uranium deposits as well as an abundance of other minerals such as phosphate, limestone, and marble are attracting both domestic and international investment interest.  Current estimates suggest that the mining industry accounts for over 20% of Togo’s export earnings.

In recent years however the country’s mining sector has encountered difficulties, due to the fall in the global price of phosphate, an unstable business environment and an opaque legal system. Togo’s current legal framework does not provide beneficial ownership registration, including information on politically exposed persons, for companies bidding, operating or investing in extractive assets, but rather discloses the legal owners of the entities1.

Investors

Despite the challenges, there have been a number of major mining investments. The largest of these is by Premier African Minerals Ltd which owns the Pagala zinc mine, the Haito nickel mine, the Kara-Niamtougou uranium mine, and the Dapaong gold mine.

Aside from precious metals, the main focus of the industry is undoubtedly phosphate, led by the country’s largest phosphate mining company, State-owned Sociéte Nationale des Mines du Togo (SNPT).  The growth of Togo’s agro-industries (read more) has continued to fuel the demand for fertiliser. Kalyan Resources, a subsidiary of Ashok Gupta’s Dubai-based Kalyan Resources FZE is listed as Togo’s principal phosphate buyer, with export destinations in Asia and Australia. Other important participants are West African Cement S.A, which mines limestone in the Tabligbo basin, and Societe Togolese de Marbrerie et Materiaux, West Africa’s only marble mining and manufacturing company.

Others are choosing to focus on manganese; Société Générale des Mines SARL, a subsidiary of the British company Keras Resources PLC, has recently partnered with Carriere Mines Travaux Public to extract and develop manganese deposits at the Kpendjal mine in Northern Togo.  Nearby, Neo Global Trading Sarlu, a subsidiary of Dubai registered Neo Global Trading LLC, is engaged in mining for magnetite.

Regulators

Togo’s mineral exploration and mining operations are regulated by the Ministry of Mines and Energy. The Department of Mines and its stakeholders are responsible for issuing policies, formulating programs, and drafting legislation for mineral operations and exploration.

The government’s strategy to date has been to reduce royalty payments on mineral mining and to implement a ‘first come, first served’ policy in the allocation of mining rights.  If this can be combined with continued efforts to increase transparency and protection for incoming investors, there is no reason that Togo cannot continue building its foreign investment base.

Further reading

Togo’s agricultural sector a magnet for overseas investors

­­­—

Diligencia uses agile technology and human insight to extract unstructured data on companies in territories where public domain information is not readily available.  We have recently uploaded a bulk dataset from the corporate registry of Togo, adding over 160,000 profiles to our online platform www.ClarifiedBy.com

1. ETIT 2020: https://eiti.org/togo#beneficial-ownership-disclosure