Eramet Group History
ERAMET is a French mining and metallurgical group operating internationally and made up of subsidiaries split into three business divisions. The first company in the Group, Société Le Nickel (SLN), was created in 1880 to explore nickel mines in New Caledonia. Other businesses have also added their respective histories and identities to the Group, including Aubert & Duval, created in France in 1907, and COMILOG, la Compagnie Minière de l’Ogooué (Ogooué Mining Company), founded in the Gabonese Republic in 1962.
Below are the main dates marking the life of the Group since the 1970s:
The nickel business is affiliated under the name Société Métallurgique Le Nickel-SLN
Elf Aquitaine bought a 50% stake in this new company. The former Société Le Nickel changed its name to become Imétal and held the remaining 50% of the Société Métallurgique Le Nickel-SLN.
Entreprise de Recherches et d’Activités Pétrolières (ERAP) acquires equity
As part of industrial, shareholding and financial restructuring, a publicly quoted French company called ERAP took a 70% stake in the company. The shareholdings of Imétal and Elf Aquitaine were reduced to 15% each.
Parent company ERAMET-SLN founded
Assets located in New Caledonia were combined in the company Société Métallurgique Le Nickel-SLN, a wholly owned subsidiary of a new parent company called ERAMET-SLN, for which the shareholding remained: 70% ERAP, 15% Imétal, 15% Elf Aquitaine.
ERAMET-SLN became world leader in the rapid steels sector
Acquisition of the French company La Commentryenne and the Swedish company Kloster Speedsteel, third-largest and leading world producers of rapid steels respectively. In 1992, these two companies were combined into a new company called Erasteel, wholly owned by ERAMET-SLN, which thus became world leader in the sector, with more than 25% market share.
Iron and steel producer Nisshin Steel joined SLN
Long-term commercial and financial partnership agreement with Japanese iron and steel producer Nisshin Steel (one of the leading Japanese stainless steel producers), resulting in the gradual acquisition of equity in Société Métallurgique Le Nickel-SLN. Nisshin Steel’s shareholding reached its final level of 10% at the end of October 1994.
Name change for Nickel-SLN and ERAMET
Société Métallurgique Le Nickel-SLN and ERAMET-SLN took their current names, respectively Société Le Nickel-SLN and ERAMET.
ERAMET was floated on the Paris Stock Exchange and Eurotungstène was acquired
Private placement followed by the floatation of ERAMET to the Second Market on the Paris Stock Market, worth 30% of the equity, transferred from ERAP, Elf and Imétal.
Acquisition of 51% of Eurotungstène, producer of cobalt and tungsten powders.Investment in ERAMET by the BRGM group (Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, a publicly quoted French Company) from its subsidiary Cofremmi, which held nickel mining reserves in New Caledonia, in exchange for granting shares representing 2.34% of the new equity in ERAMET.
Equity acquired in COMILOG
ERAMET acquired 46% of the equity in COMILOG (Gabonese Republic), the world’s second-largest producer of high-content manganese ore and also one of the leading producers of ferromanganese for manufacturing iron and steel and manganese-based chemical products.
Evolution of the current equity structure and creation of three divisions: Nickel, Manganese and Alloys
Several major operations were undertaken.These led to the current equity structure and the Group’s present configuration in terms of activities:
|Integration into the Group of the company SIMA (Duval family), one of the world’s leading producers and transformers of high-performance special steels and nickel alloys.|
|Transfer of 30% of the equity in Société Le Nickel–SLN to ERAP in exchange for ERAMET shares; ERAP then transferred this shareholding into a public organization in New Caledonia, the Société Territoriale Calédonienne de Participations Industrielles (STCPI). The French government transferred the remaining shareholding from ERAP to Cogema, itself then absorbed into the AREVA group.|
|Acquisition of manganese activities from the Norwegian group Elkem, through which ERAMET became the world’s leading producer of manganese alloys and added high-added-value refined alloys to its product range.|
The ERAMET group was profoundly changed by these operations. Its activities were split into three divisions: Nickel, Manganese and Alloys, and the Group’s equity was held mainly by private investors, with the French government retaining a minority shareholding.
Guilin plant (China)
New developments in the Gabonese Republic, China and the United Kingdom
Opening the industrial complex at Moanda (Gabonese Republic), an enrichment and aggregation plant for manganese ore, strengthened COMILOG’s product range and extended the lifespan of the reserves. ERAMET also acquired the manganese alloys plant in Guilin (China) and Erasteel took control of 78% of Peter Stubs (United Kingdom).
Restructuring programme in two divisions
Launch of a restructuring program in the Alloys and Manganese divisions, both facing substantial losses:
|Closure of the ferromanganese plant at Boulogne-sur-Mer (France) and the manganese alloys plant at Shaoxing (China).|
|COMILOG sold Sadici (molybdenum gratings) and the Carbon Black business, both based in Belgium.|
100% takeovers of the Trappes Research Center and Eurotungstène.
GCMC plant (USA)
ERAMET strengthened its recycling activity for oil catalysts and obtained a concession for the Trans-Gabon railway
ERAMET strengthened its recycling activity for oil catalysts through two investments in its subsidiary Gulf Chemical and Metallurgical Corp (GCMC); 100% acquisition of Bear Metallurgical and construction of a new oil catalyst recycling plant started in Canada.
In November 2005, ERAMET obtained the thirty-year concession to run the Trans-Gabon railway.
News from Indonesia
Acquisition of Weda Bay Nickel, with world-class major nickel deposits in Indonesia.
New developments in China and New Caledonia
China: start of the new Chongzuo EMD (electrolytic manganese dioxide) plant in the south of the country and construction of an Erasteel wire-drawing plant at Tianjin.
New Caledonia: start of the nickel ore enrichment plant at Tiébaghi and opening of the Poum mine at the end of the year.
Acquisition of Tinfos
Acquisition of 56% of the Norwegian company Tinfos, leading to the significant strengthening of ERAMET's market positioning in the field of refined manganese alloys, with an increase of the order of 20% in the production of its manganese business. The other activities contributed by Tinfos included in particular the production of titanium dioxide and of high-purity cast iron at its Tyssedal plant in Norway, together with certain electricity-producing assets.
Development of new projects and acquisitions of Eralloys and Valdi
February - Weda Bay Nickel project: partnership and agreement to transfer 34% of Strand Minerals (Indonesia) to Mitsubishi Corporation.
March - Tinfos: new agreement enabling ERAMET to increase its holding in Eralloys to 100% (company combining the activities of the former Tinfos excluding the Nottoden electricity power station).
April - the first stone was laid for the Moanda metallurgical complex (Gabonese Republic).
June - ERAMET’s shareholding in Eralloys rose to 100% after acquisition of minority interests. Agreement to acquire Valdi (France), a company with business involved in recycling of non-ferrous metals.
Consolidation of the partnership with the Gabonese Republic
July: agreement between STCPI and ERAMET to extend the SLN shareholders’ pact by 18 months, with a view to preparing a long-term agreement.
October: agreement with the Gabonese Republic to increase its shareholding in COMILOG gradually. This increase, which may represent up to 10% of the company’s capital, is anticipated for the period 2010-2015.
Implementation of a Group ethical charter and sustainable development policy and new plants opened at Aubert & Duval and Erasteel
January: the ERAMET group introduced an ethical charter founded on responsibility, civic duty, integrity and respect for people, together with a policy of sustainable development. As an extension of this charter, ERAMET became a participant in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
September: Aubert & Duval and UKTMP opened their new titanium bar transformation plant, UKAD.
October: Erasteel opened a new strategic installation for powder metallurgy, Durin Tower, in its Söderfors plant in Sweden.
FSI invests in ERAMET equity
May: The Fonds Stratégique d’Investissement acquired equity in ERAMET after transfer of the shareholding into the AREVA group.