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Mozambique will cancel inactive mining concessions

At work on the
Moatize coal project
in Mozambique
Maputo, Mozambique — MININGREVIEW.COM — 27 October 2008 – The government of Mozambique has announced that it will cancel the mining concessions of companies that have failed to explore the areas concerned or exploit the potential mines in their concession areas.

Making this announcement here, mineral resources minister Esperanca Bias told reporters that some companies which had been granted concessions for gold and other resources – including nickel, copper and zinc ores or bauxite – were not working the mines, and that this was in contravention of mining laws.

“The government’s aim is not to apply fines but to cancel licences,” she said. “The government wanted to see that the companies involved are undertaking serious work, and under the terms of the law they must present an activity report,” she emphasised.

Reuters reports that the Mozambican government has issued 296 licenses to 115 companies for mining concessions.

Bias said Mozambique had depleted all the concession areas available for the surveying and mining of coal. “We have exhausted all our potential areas and now our focus is on investments, which we foresee could amount to around US$20 billion (R210 billion) if we are to invest everywhere where coal is available,” she pointed out.

International companies have been seeking coal exploration licences in the southern African country after President Armando Guebuza’s government had revealed that it was seeking to double new mining investments in the next five years.

Australian and Brazilian companies are investing up to US$10 billion (R105 billion) in coal production in the country’s northern region.