Mozambique: Government to analyze tourmaline reserves in Manica

3 December 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 3 Dec – The illegal mining for tourmaline stones, both by Mozambicans and by foreigners, has led the Mozambican Ministry of Natural Resources to send a ream of geologists to the district of Bárue, in Manica province, according to newspaper Notícias.

In a dispatch dated November 12, the Natural Resources Minister, Esperança Bias ordered the suspension of all activities related to the sale of precious and semi-precious stones in the Bárue district, as well as issuing licenses for exploration in the region.

The move, according to the dispatch, “aims to reorganize the processes for licensing, as well as improve the system for inspection of license-holders for selling mining products from the Bárue district.”

The presence of the team in Bárue aims to gather detailed information on the tourmaline reserve that was recently discovered in Nhampassa, in order to guide the government in licensing its exploration within the law.

The geologists are expected to establish the area covered by the reserve, as well as its potential. According to Geraldo Valoi, the Provincial Mineral Resources Director in Manica, the government has outlined an area of 500 hectares in Nhampassa.

In order to supervise the situation a police and customs cordon has been set up in the location, but the tourmaline business continues in the district. (macauhub)