Mozambique: Rio Tinto surveys for heavy minerals in Inhambane/Gaza

1 June 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 1 June – Anglo-Australian mining group Rio Tinto is surveying the heavy mineral reserves along a band of land that includes the region of Jangamo, in the Mozambican province of Inhambane and Chonguene, in Gaza province, Mozambican daily newspaper, Notícias reported Thursday.

The paper cited information provided by the Minister for Mining Resources, according to which the work carried out by the mining company had led to the discovery of satisfactory reserves of heavy minerals in the Inhambane region.

“Based on this discovery, the owner of the project, which is Rio Tinto, is carrying out assessment work to determine if these reserves are enough to move on to the development and production phase,” said Esperança Bias.

Speaking to the newspaper, the minister also talked about illegal mining, an activity which, she said, “is affecting the State although it is difficult to quantify the losses caused.”

However, the minister noted that there had been a slight reversal in the trend for that type of activity that could be proven by the fact that average production of declared gold, for example, had risen from 60 to 300 kilogrammes.

Bias also noted the measures behind that success as there had been a rise in inspection activities and greater support given to associations for legalisation, amongst other measures. (macauhub)