Australian mining firm starts exploring in Mozambique

THE Mozambique government on Wednesday announced it had approved a new minerals exploration project in southern Mozambique, worth more than one billion US dollars, headed by an Australian mining firm.

Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi told journalists at a weekly media briefing that his government approved the project, the Limpopo Corridor Sands, in the southern district of Chibuto, on Tuesday.

He said it was now up to the investors to start work as soon as possible.

The project, which is being undertaken by a consortium lead by Australias WMC Mining Company with a 54% stake, has a budget of $1,2-billion.

Other partners are Yangara Investments Limited, whose origin the prime minister could not state, which holds a 36 percent stake, and South Africa?s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), with 10%.

Mocumbi said the consortium will search for zircon, iron and titanium — all for export.

The project is expected to generate about 2 000 jobs during the construction phase and 600 permanent jobs when operational.

The project is the second of its kind. Recently, the Mozambican government approved a similar project in Moma, in the northern province of Nampula, undertaken by Kenmare Resources of Ireland.

Geological studies reveal heavy mineral deposits all along Mozambiques 2 600-kilometre Indian Ocean coastline. – Sapa

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