Second heavy minerals processing unit in Mozambique to begin operating this year

5 June 2007

Chibuto, Mozambique, 5 June – The Chibuto heavy minerals processing unit, estimated to cost US$500 million and capable of producing 800,000 tons of ilmenite (iron titanium oxide) per year, will go into production before the end of the year, the Chibuto manager, Zacarias Couto said.

With the implementation of the Chibuto Heavy Minerals Project, located over 100 kilometers from Maputo, Mozambique will have two processing units of this type, as the Moma heavy minerals processing unit has also gone into operation, with construction costs totaling US$460 million.

Without giving figures, Couto said that the project would bring many economic benefits to the area, one of the poorest in the country, mainly by creating jobs.

Corridor Sands, a company that is 100 percent owned by Australia’s BHP Billiton, which won the mining concession, plans to mine ilmenite, a base mineral used for titanium production.

BHP also has an important stake in the Mozal aluminum factory, one of the largest in the world, in which it has a 47 percent stake.

In its turn, Ireland’s Kenmare, which has the concession for heavy minerals in Moma, hopes to produce 800,000 tons of ilmenite, 21,000 tons of rutilium and 56,000 tons of zircon.

In the second stage, projected for 2009, Kenmare expects to produce 1.2 million tons of ilmenite. (macauhub)