The Obtala Limited group will in the short term expand production capacity in Gabon rather than Mozambique in order to minimise the risks arising from recent decisions of the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development, Chief Executive Paul Dolan said in a statement on Tuesday.
That ministry established new rules and limits for the exploration and export of wood, especially species considered to be precious, and ordered a ban on felling three species of trees.
The same order, which entered into force on 29 March, also prohibits the export of wood of the chanfuta, umbila and jambire trees, “species that will be licensed only to supply the domestic market” and reduce the maximum quantity of wood for exploration to 350,000 cubic metres.
Dolan said in the statement that, given that the group’s activities in Mozambique through subsidiary Argento are certified by the ministry, recent decisions should in the long term benefit the group from both an operational and price point of view.
The statement said that the group never had licenses to fell trees of the three species now banned and that the sale abroad of the three species reserved for domestic consumption accounted for less than 5.0% of total sales in the first quarter of 2018.
The Obtala Limited group said in the statement it was awaiting a decision by the Mozambican government to pass the content of the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development order into law. (macauhub)