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State mining company for Mozambique

A night shot of the
Kenmare Resources wet
concentrator plant at
Maputo, Mozambique — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 June 2009 – The government of Mozambique has approved the establishment of a state mining company which will explore, develop and market the untapped mineral resources of the Southern African country.

“The government has approved the creation of the Mozambique Mining Exploration Company EMEM, SA,” cabinet spokesman Luis Covane told a media briefing in the Mozambiquan capital.

He went on to explain that EMEM´s principal objectives would be to explore the geological mining, production and trading of mining products; the trading of raw material with mining utility; and advising, consulting and undertaking research and prospection of mining resources in the country.

EMEM is Mozambique’s first state company to be licensed in the mining industry. “We have reached a stage where we cannot just be regulators,” said Covane. The state also wants to participate in the exploration, production and trading of mining resources.”

Mozambique has been encouraging foreign companies to invest in its mining industry after the decades-long civil war had resulted in large-scale damage to infrastructure, and the region’s mineral wealth had been all but ignored.

Over the past four years direct investment in the various mining sectors of Mozambique has shown a dramatic eight-fold increase, as international interest in the southern African country has mounted steadily.

Mozambican newspaper “O Pais” recently quoted minister of mineral resources Esperanca Bias, as saying that direct investment had leapt from US101 million (R900 million) in 2004 to USD$804 million (R7.2 billion) last year. The minister added that this sharp upward trend in growth had resulted in the value of annual mining production rising from US$35.2 million (R315 million) to US$257 million (R2.3 billion) in the same period.