Maputo, Mozambique, 4 Nov – Two firms have been licensed to prospect for diamonds in areas in the provinces of Manica, Sofala and Gaza as part of a tender launched by the Mozambican government at the end of 2008, reported the Noticias newspaper in Maputo.
National mining director Eduardo Alexandre told Noticias he believed the coming three or four years will bring positive results on account of the geological patterns in the licensed areas.
Eight firms entered the competition and two of these, Manicaland Corporation and Preciosa, both with 25,000 hectares, have already received respective licenses. The other firms involved will do so shortly.
Diamond reserves have been found in neighboring Zimbabwe and these are being mined outside control of the local authorities, a reason why the precious stones are often smuggled into Mozambique.
Mozambique’s director of mining said the fact national diamond deposits have almost the same characteristics of those in Zimbabwe indicates they could also be found in Mozambique. The latest reports of possible diamond discoveries in Mozambique are the second in the past two years following reports from the province of Manica.
Mozambique is currently signing up to the Kimberley system of international certification aimed to combat diamond-funded conflicts and illegal diamond trading. (macauhub)