Maputo, Mozambique — MININGREVIEW.COM — 26 May 2009 – The government of Mozambique is seeking a new investor for the US$500 million (R4.5 billion) Chibuto heavy mineral sands project, after global miner BHP Billiton dropped the project because the company felt it was not viable.
Mineral resources minister Esperanca Bias told Reuters Mozambique was open to talks for future development of the project.
“If there is a company which appears to be interested in the Chibuto heavy sands project, we are open for negotiations,” said Bias. “The project envisages an integrated open-cut mining, concentration and smelting operation at Chibuto to produce titania slag and iron, as well as rutile and zircon,” she added.
BHP spokeswoman Bronwyn Wilkinson said the company had decided the project was not viable at this time, and had halted it at the pre-feasibility stage.
"The pre-feasibility study has found inadequate value to justify further development of the project at this point in time,” she added in an emailed statement.