Mozambique – AIM-listed Savannah Resources has signed a JV agreement with Rio Tinto to develop a large-scale commercial heavy minerals sands project in Mozambique with direct access to its ports of Inhambane and Maxixie.

The venture will see Savannah combine its Jangamo tenement with an inferred resource of 65 Mt at 4.2% total heavy mineral sands (HMS) with Rio’s exponential Mutamba deposit which has a huge exploration target of 7 – 12 Bt with high grades up to 4.5% HMS.

Savannah is targeting early stage open-pit mining, with an initial rate of 400 – 500 000 tpa of ilmenite dominant heavy mineral concentrate (HMC).

Savannah will operate the JV and can earn up to 51% of the combined Mutamba-Jangamo project as they move towards production through scoping, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies.  Rio Tinto will provide all its existing camp, facilities and associated equipment which will help accelerate development, and will enter into an off-take sales agreement for 100% of the production from any mine that may be developed.

Savannah is headed up by David Archer, the company’s CEO, who took Savage Resources (ASX listed) from a small IPO in 1987 to a major mid-tier mining group with a market capitalisation of approximately AUD$400 million ; Hillgrove Resources (ASX listed) from a listed shell in 2002/3 into a profitable, dividend paying, AUD$200 million market capitalisation company; and PowerTel (ASX listed), now part of Telecom New Zealand, from inception as the first listed Australian telephone company to the third largest fibre-optic network owner and operator in Australia.

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