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International interest in Tanzania

Mary Nagu, Tanzanian
Trade Minister
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 July 2009 – The government of Tanzania has revealed that a total of 48 foreign and local mining companies are interested in developing coal and iron ore deposits in the southern part of the East African country.

Tanzania has proven coal deposits of 125.3 million tonnes in Mchuchuma in the south-west of the country, near its borders with Malawi and Mozambique. It also has a proven iron ore deposit of 45 million tonnes in Liganga in the centre of the country.

“In our search for investors for the Mchuchuma coal project and the Liganga iron ore project, 48 investors have shown interest, and talks are ongoing to determine the best ones,” trade minister Mary Nagu said here in a ministerial presentation.

Reuters reports that interested firms include India’s Tata Steel Company, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, China CAMC Engineering, Nava Bharat Singapore, and Western Metals of Australia.

The state-run National Development Corporation said the Mchuchuma project would entail building a 400 MW power plant and about 200 km of high voltage power lines. It was estimated that the whole project would cost about US$660 million (R5.2 billion). The Liganga iron ore project was still at the feasibility study stage.

Tanzania already has significant investments in its mining sector, largely in gold, but is increasingly attracting interest in minerals like iron, uranium and nickel.