Maputo, Mozambique — MININGREVIEW.COM — 01 March 2012 – The Mozambican government is expected to announce by June the company chosen to be awarded the tender for exploration of the Chibuto heavy sands project in the Southern Mozambican province of Gaza.
Speaking to Mozambican daily newspaper Correio da Manhã, mining resources minister, Esperança Bias added that, according to the schedule, the proposals from that area would be opened and studies in April and the companies whose proposals were in line with requirements would be invited to submit final proposals. “The winner should be announced by June,” he said.
Bias said that one of the reasons the start of this project was delayed was related to the characteristics of the heavy sands deposits, which were different from those at Moma in Nampula province. The technology to explore them had become available only recently.
The minister noted that the previous tender, which was launched in 2010, had been cancelled as competitors had not met requirements set by the government.
The Chibuto heavy sands project covers an area of 11,000 hectares and has the potential to produce 70Mt of ilmenite. It was previously awarded to BHP Billiton, but its licence was revoked in mid 2010 due to not meeting targets, specifically, the deadline for starting mining operations.
Irish company Kenmare Resources is exploring the heavy sands deposits in Moma.