SHANGHAI, Feb 11 (SMM) – Ghana Manganese Company (GMC) is likely to be in negotiation with the government after authorities ordered the company to suspend by February 15, SMM learned from sources. SMM also heard from market participants that traders have yet to learn of any disruption to supply.
Prior to the suspension order, SMM estimated that China would import some 4.5 million mt of ore from Ghana in 2019. We also forecast that Ghanaian ore will account for some 15% of China’s ore imports in 2019. Last year, China imported 3.47 million mt of manganese ore from Ghana, up 106% from 2017, showed data from China Customs.
GMC, the only company that produces manganese in Ghana, was required to halt its mining operations by February 15 to allow for a "financial and technical audit of the company’s operations," reported GhanaWeb.com last week. There has yet to be any official notice to confirm the report.
SMM research found that the potential for a short-lived suspension of GMC is likely to have limited impact on prices of manganese ore or electrolytic manganese across Chinese markets in the near term, as existing inventories at plants or ports could support consumption for several months. The Chinese market is now oversupplied with manganese ore after significant imports last year. Any longer suspension could cause significant disruption to the market.
GMC has maintained stable operations in the past few years. Another major manganese ore supplier, Consolidated Minerals Limited’s (CML) operations in Australia, also kept steady shipments since it resumed mining from the second half of 2017. Chinese company Tianyuan Manganese, the world’s largest manganese producer, acquired CML in late 2016.