Mozambique: Exploration of Ancuabe graphite mine only in 2010

10 February 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 10 Feb – Exploration of the graphite mine at Ancuabe, in Cabo Delgado province will restart only in 2010 rather than this year as had previously been announced, said deputy mining minister, Abdul Razak.

Swiss company Timcal was granted the concession to explore the mine after an international tender launched in May 2008 by the Mozambican government, and the Natural Resources Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with Timcal on 29 December last year to speed up negotiations over the wording of the final contract.

Abdul Razak told Mozambican news agency, AIM, that as soon as the contract was finalised, the Swiss company would start work to restart exploration of the mine, as preparatory work would take longer because most of the equipment on the site was now obsolete.

“The idea is that Timcal will carry out the preparatory work this year and exploration work will begin in 2010,” said the deputy minister.

The mine was closed in 1999 due to high production costs, particularly of electricity as this was generated by diesel powered generators.

This problem has now been resolved as Ancuabe has been linked to the national grid since 1 February and graphite prices on the international market are high. (macauhub)