Recent expansion
of the middle voltage
and low voltage systems
of the Marropino tantalum
mine, which has been
closed down
Maputo, Mozambique — 05 August 2013 – A number of factors have led to the recent closure of the Marropino mine, in the Gilé district of Mozambique’s Zambézia province, where Highland African Mining Company “’ now Noventa “’ mined tantalum.   

Macauhub News Agency quotes Mozambican daily newspaper Noticias as reporting that ever since mining had begun, the company had faced difficulties related to both the high level of radiation of the metal, and to a lack of access roads to transport the product to the port.

Revealing this, the Mining Resources Ministry had also said that the closure had been due to the fact that the ore with the highest levels of tantalum had already been processed and that what remained at the mine was much higher and found at greater depths, which increased the cost of mining and processing.

Financial analyses showed that in operations at the Marropino mine for each tonne of material extracted there was a loss of US$3, and added that the company had reported accumulated losses of around US$150 million by June 2013.

Poor quality of electrical power supplied to the mine added to the mine’s problems, as did transport. In order to move the tantalum away the company had to use a long overland route to Walvis Bay, in Namibia, as no Mozambican port is certified to handle Class 7 products, which are defined according to their level of radioactivity.

The closure of the mine has led to redundancies for 377 workers, and the Mining Resources Ministry is pushing for them to be employed at the company’s concessions in Morrua and Mutala.

Source: Macauhub News Agency. For more information, click here.