HomeEast AfricaPilot plant construction underway at Savannah Resources’ Mutamba project

Pilot plant construction underway at Savannah Resources’ Mutamba project

Mozambique – The 20 tph pilot plant will be used for the bulk metallurgical test work programme, in which the plant will produce bulk samples of concentrate for metallurgical and product test from Savannah Resources’ Mutamba project.

The pilot plant was constructed and tested under the direction of Rio Tinto in 2012 in South Africa before being disassembled and packed into containers and shipped to the Mutamba site.

Mozambique, Mutamba, mineral sands, Savannah Resources, Rio Tinto
The pilot plant on site in Mozambique

Savannah Resources has appointed Mozambique based Anubis Moçambique Limitada (AML), an experienced mineral sands engineering company that has provided multi-disciplinary engineering and process services to the mining industry in Mozambique since 2011, to undertake the work.

AML’s clients have included, Kenmare Resources (Moma mineral sands project), Maputo Port Development Company and MOZAL.

AML’s scope of work is for the turnkey re-assembly and commissioning of the plant and includes:

  • Site survey;
  • Installation of a site security fence with access lockable gate and security post;
  • Bulk earthworks;
  • Preparation of the old railway line to be used as construction access road;
  • Civil works, including foundations;
  • Structural re-assembly;
  • Processing equipment: piping, cyclones, distributors, spirals and distributors assembly;
  • Electrical and control (pumps, level, interlocks, safety, PLC software);
  • Mechanical: pumps, conveyor, vibrating feeder; LIMS and
  • Plant commissioning.

Construction and commissioning of the pilot plant is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

We are pleased that the pilot plant construction work is now well underway at Mutamba and that good progress is being made, says Savannah Resources CEO David Archer, adding that once commissioned and operational, the plant will provide concentrate bulk samples for analysis and the preparation of final products for test marketing.

He further notes that the completion of the plant will be a key milestone for the Mutamba consortium as it moves the project towards a development decision.

Mutamba project background

The Mutamba project is located in the Gaza and Inhambane provinces of Mozambique in a world-class heavy minerals sands region close to established infrastructure, approximately 450 km northeast of the capital city of Maputo.

Mutamba, mineral sands, Savannah Resources, Rio Tinto
Aerial view of the pilot plant site, August 2017.

The project combines Savannah Resources’ Jangamo project with Rio Tinto’s adjacent Mutamba project, which includes three deposit areas – Jangamo, Dongane and Ravene  – as well as the Chilubane deposit, which is located 180 km to the south west of the Mutamba project.

The enlarged collective Mutamba project has excellent infrastructure, including road, power and access to the nearby ports of Inhambane and Maxixie approximately 40 km away. The project also benefits from Rio Tinto’s existing camp and equipment to help fast track development.

Savannah Resources operates the Mutamba project in Mozambique in collaboration with Rio Tinto, and can earn a 51% interest in the related consortium, which has an established initial indicated and inferred mineral resource estimate of 4.4 Bt grading at 3.9% THM over the Jangamo, Dongane and Ravene deposits.

Under the terms of the consortium agreement with Rio Tinto, upon delivery by Savannah Resources of a pre-feasibility study – 35% and feasibility study – 51%, will earn the corresponding interest in the Mutamba project (which currently is 20% following delivery of scoping study in May 2017).

Additionally, the consortium agreement includes an offtake agreement on commercial terms for the sale of 100% of heavy mineral concentrate production to Rio Tinto (or an affiliate).

Image credit: Savannah Resources

Chantelle Kotze
Chantelle Kotze is a Johannesburg-based media professional. She is a contributor at Mining Review Africa (Clarion Events - Africa) and has created content for the media brand over the past 6 years.