Mozambique: Heavy mineral exploration in Moma may be profitable this year

20 April 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 20 April – Heavy mineral exploration in Topuito, in the Moma district of Mozambique’s Nampula province could generate a profit of US$300,000 this year, according to Charles Carvill, the chief executive of Kenmare Resources Plc, the project’s operator.

In 2008, according to Carvill, the company saw turnover of US$60.1 million from the project, which included revenue and investment in operating and financial costs and payments of equipment and factory construction work.

The value of the loans taken out by the company totaled US$334.8 million in the same period.

Carvill also said that his company could see reduced operating costs for the factory when it hit total production capacity, which is expected to happen by the end of this year, when the unit will produce 800,000 tonnes of ilmenite per year, including its derivatives, namely rutilium and zircon.

According to the company’s plans, the factory’s production may increase to 1.2 million tonnes of ilmenite, 80,000 of zircon and 30,000 tonnes of rutilium, as soon as market conditions permit.

In the first year of activity, the company’s performance was affected by fluctuations in the electrical current, which caused some equipment to breakdown, bringing production to a halt for an estimated 62 hours, in September 2008. (macauhub)