The restricted public tender for heavy sands exploration in Chibuto, in Mozambique’s Gaza province, has been cancelled at the decision of the Mining Resources Ministry, Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias reported.
After the proposals were opened in 2012 the winning company was due to negotiate and sign an agreement to carry out the exploration project by 3 December 2012.
In a statement issued in Maputo, the ministry said that, as the deadlines outlined above were not met, the Mining Resources Minister, Esperança Bias, had decided to annul the restricted tender launched in 2011.
According to the newspaper this is not the first time that the Mining Resources Ministry has made use of administrative measures in relation to the concession process for the heavy sands in Chibuto.
The project was initially a concession of BHP Billiton, which had its license cancelled due to not meeting the schedule that was agreed with the Mozambican government.
Later another Canadian company saw the licensing process cancelled after being awarded the tender, allegedly for failing to comply with the outlined schedule.
Studies carried out so far show that in Chibuto there are over 72 million tons of ilmenite, exploration of which would take at least 30 years, 2.6 million tons of proven zircon reserves and 0.4 million tons of rutile, in an area of 10,840 hectares. (macauhub)