Mozambican govt wants gold, precious stones to be processed nationally

13 August 2009

Vilankulo, Mozambique, 13 Aug – The government of Mozambique is to legislate the make processing of certain minerals compulsory within the country, Natural Resources Minster Esperança Bias has said.

In comments to the Noticias daily newspaper, the minister said a study is underway on revision of Maputo’s geological and mining policies and a list of products, such as gold and gems, could be drawn up requiring these to be subject to primary processing in Mozambique. Many of these minerals are currently mined casually and fall outside the control of the relevant authorities.

“We want gems and gold to be processed in Mozambique. When I speak of gems I’m referring to tourmaline, aquamarine, rubies and others,” said the minister, adding the time has come for Mozambique to have its own mineral processing industry for Mozambicans to take advantage of these resources.

Currently, unlicensed mineral prospectors from various countries including Mozambique continue to operate in areas with proven gold and precious stone reserves, with the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Niassa, Nampula, Zambezia and Manica the worst affected by the phenomenon.

These minerals are subsequently illegally exported to neighboring states causing a shortfall in Mozambique’s state revenues, Maputo’s natural resources minister said at the 24th Coordinating Council of the Natural Resources Ministry running until Friday in the coastal resort of Vilankulo in Inhambane province. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH