Mozambique to auction seized semi-precious stones

19 February 2010

Nampula, Mozambique, 19 Feb – Nearly two tonnes of various minerals, namely semi-precious stones seized by Mozambican authorities, will be auctioned off this year, Mineral Resources Minister Esperan?a Bias stated in Nampula.

On the sidelines of a national meeting of mining commercialization licence-holders, Bias said that material worth US$150,000 had recently been seized, adding that the total value of the minerals to be auctioned was close to US$200,000.

The Nampula gathering’s aim was to analyze mining activity in Mozambique, ranging from the licensing, extraction, commercialization and export of related products, and to promote interaction among the country’s nearly 400 individual and corporate holders of commercialization licences.

The Mining Promotion Fund will this year stop focusing on the commercialization of minerals and shift to providing technical assistance to small-scale artisanal operators.

“Last year we set up the Gemmology and Cutting Centre in Nampula, which will train operators in business management and offer courses on identifying and evaluating minerals and cutting with a view to adding value to our minerals,” said Bias, adding that at least 40 gemstone cutters would be trained at the centre this year.