Mozambique: Swiss company to operate graphite mine in Ancuabe

2 January 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 2 Jan – Swiss company Timcal Graphite & Carbon signed a deal with the Mozambican Ministry of Natural Resources to operate the Ancuabe graphite mine, in Cabo Delgado province, according to a report from Mozambican news agency AIM.

The deal follows an international tender launched by the Mozambican government in May, 2008.

The Ancuabe mine was closed in 1999 due to the high cost of production, namely the price of generating electricity with diesel generators.

According to the Mozambican authorities, cited by AIM, the climate is currently favourable for re-opening the graphite mines due to increased international demand, particularly for the electronics industry.

Another piece of “good news,” particularly for Timcal, is the imminent arrival of electricity from the Cahora Bassa dam, which would reduce production costs.

Studies carried out in the region showed that there were reserves of around 1 million tonnes of graphite at Ancuabe.

The mine was operated by the Grafites de Ancuabe company between 1994 and 1999, a consortium of three companies, which produced some 7,500 tonnes of graphite per year.

After the mine is re-opened the graphite produced at Ancuabe is expected to be exported to Europe, the United States and China, with the latter being the world’s largest producer of graphite, as well as its largest consumer.

Graphite can be used to make pencils, lubricants, and electronic products amongst other industrial applications.

Timcal Graphite & Carbon is a world leader in producing carbon-related solutions, and has factories and sales offices in Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Japan, China, Germany, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom. (macauhub)