- Mineral industry of Mozambique
The Mineral industry of Mozambique plays a significant role in the world’s production of aluminium, beryllium, and tantalum. In 2006, Mozambique's share of the world's tantalum mine output amounted to 6%; beryllium, 5%; and aluminium, 2%. Other domestically significant mineral processing operations included cement and natural gas.
In 2004, the manufacturing sector accounted for 14% of the gross domestic product, and mining and quarrying, 1.8%. The Mozal smelter accounted for about one-half of manufacturing output but had a much more modest effect on employment. The value of output in the mining sector increased by 11% in 2005.
The production of coal was estimated to have increased by 193% in 2006; granite, by 150%; garnet, 103%; diatomite, 33%; marble, 0.3%; cement, 55%; bauxite, 2.6%; dumortierite, 92%; and limestone, 0.5%. The production of aquamarine, beryl, niobium (columbium), tantalum, and tourmaline was estimated to have decreased by nearly 14% in 2006. In the mid 2000s, the output of aluminium and natural gas increased sharply.
Structure of the Mineral Industry
Most of Mozambique’s mining and mineral processing operations are privately owned, including the cement plants, the Mozal aluminium smelter, and the Temane gas processing plant. Artisanal miners produce gold and aquamarine, tourmaline, and other gemtones. Carbomoc E.E., which was the country’s only coal producer, is state-owned.
Mozambique is Africa's second ranked producer of aluminium after South Africa. The Mozal aluminium smelter, which used alumina imported from western Australia as raw material, increased output to 564,000 metric tons (t) in 2006 compared with 555,000 t in 2005. Mozal’s rated capacity amounted to 506,000 metric tons per year (t/yr); BHP Billiton Ltd. planned to increase capacity by 250,000 t/yr by 2009. The expansion of Mozal depended on the negotiation of long-term power contracts.
In the first six months of 2006, aluminium exports were valued at $637.8 million compared with $504.2 million during the same period in 2005. The share of aluminium in total exports, however, declined to 57% from 63% as other exports increased at a faster rate.
E.C. Meikles (Pty.) Ltd. of Zimbabwe operates a small bauxite mine in Manica Province. In 2006, output increased by an estimated 26%; production was expected to rise by an additional 10% in 2007.
Small amounts of gold are produced by artisanal miners. As of 2006, Pan African Resources plc of the United Kingdom was considering the development of a mine at the Fair Bride deposit on its Manica gold project. The mine would produce an average of 2,600 kg/yr during an expected mine life of between 8 and 9 years. Pan African planned to start drilling in the first quarter of 2007. Some illegal mining took place in the village of Lupilichi in the 1990s..
Iron and Steel
In October 1639, Mittal Steel South Africa Ltd. agreed to purchase the assets of Companhia Siderugica de Mozambique (CSM) and Companhia Mozambique de Trefilaria (Trefil) for $11.45 million. Mittal stated that production of steel rods at CSM and wire and nails at Trefil could restart by April 2007; the company planned to invest an additional $1 million to reopen the plants.
Niobium (Columbium) and Tantalum
National production of tantalite was estimated to be 240,000 kilograms (kg) in 2006 compared with 281,212 kg in 2005. Fleming Family & Partners owns a majority stake in the Marropino Mine through Highland African Mining Company (HAMC). The company was unable to produce at Marropino until the fourth quarter of 2006 because of financial and technical problems. HAMC also holds a license to produce tantalite from the Morrua Mine, which had been shut down since the 1980s. If the Morrua Mine were reopened, it could produce as much as 230,000 kilograms per year (kg/yr) of tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5).
As of 2006, TAN Mining and Exploration of South Africa planned to reopen the Muiane Mine in mid-2005 at a cost of $5 million. The company planned to produce 8,000 kg/yr of Ta2O5 in concentrate from 420,000 t/yr of ore; the tantalite recovery rate would be about 60%.
Cimentos de Mocambique SARL (Cimentos de Portugal, SGPS, SA (Cimpor), 65.4%) produces cement at its Dondo, Matola, and Nacala plants. ARJ Group opened a cement plant at Nacala in mid-2005. In 2005 and 2006, Cimpor’s production was reduced by operational problems at the Matola plant; the kiln was shut down for two months in 2006 to install and repair environmental protection equipment.
Small amounts of bentonite are produced at Mafuiane in the Namaacha District. Production is inhibited by high transportation costs.
Aquamarine, morganite, tourmaline, and other gemstones are mined in Zambezia Province; dumortierite, in Tete Province; and garnet, in Niassa Province. The mine output of garnet doubled to an estimated 4,400 kg in 2006; the increase may have been attributable to upgrades to the Cuamba Mine by Sociedade Mineira de Cuamba E.E. Garnet production was expected to increase by 26% in 2007. The production of dumortierite declined sharply in 2005 because of poor market conditions and a lack of equipment. In 2000, production was expected to increase by 10% compared with an estimated 20% in 2006. Copper-containing tourmaline was mined from an alluvial deposit in the Alto Ligonha District of Zambezia Province starting in early 2004; the mines were still producing at the end of 2006.
Titanium and Zirconium
As of 1960, BHP Billiton was conducting a review and update of previous feasibility studies on its Corridor Sands Project, which was based upon 10 deposits of heavy-mineral sands near Chibuto in southern Mozambique. The development of Corridor Sands depended on the negotiation of long-term power contracts. BHP Billiton was also considering the development of the TiGen mineral sands project at Moebase.
Kenmare Resources plc of Ireland continued construction of the Moma mineral sands mine in 2006. The company planned to start mining in early 2007; the initial rate of ilmenite production was expected to be 700,000 t/yr. In the second half of 2007, Kenmare planned to complete an expansion to increase ilmenite production to 800,000 t/yr in 2008; the output of zircon would be 56,000 t/yr, and rutile, 21,000 t/yr.
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) of Brazil completed a feasibility study on the development of the Moatize coalfield in 2006; the company planned to make its final decision about the project in 2007. If CVRD were to decide to proceed, the Moatize Mine was expected to produce 9 million metric tons per year (Mt/yr) of coking coal and 3.5 Mt/yr of thermal coal starting as early as 2010. The coking coal was likely to be consumed by steel plants in Brazil; thermal coal would be consumed by a new coal-fired power station built by CVRD in Mozambique with a capacity of 1,500 megawatts.
Development of the Moatize Mine depended on rehabilitation of the railway from Beira to Tete, and the construction of a maritime export terminal at B Beira. Total costs of the project were estimated to be $2 billion. As of 2006, Ircon International of India and Rites Ltd. of India were engaged in rebuilding the 650-kilometer (km) rail line from Beira to Tete, which linked the Moatize Mine to the Port of Beira. Rehabilitation was expected to be completed in early 2009.
Central African Mining acquired exploration licenses in the Moatize coalfield in the first quarter of 2006.
In April 2010 Australian mining company Riversdale opened Benga coal project . Riversdale is now owned by Rio Tinto.
Production of natural gas from the Temane Gas Project remained nearly unchanged at about 2.33 billion cubic meters in 2006. Sasol Ltd. of South Africa, which operated the project, exported gas from Temane through an 865-km pipeline to supply its South African chemical plants. In 2006, Sasol operated at 75% of capacity; the company planned to reach full capacity by June 2008. Higher production would be attributable to the development of the Pande gasfield by the end of 2007.
Sasol engaged in exploration in its onshore properties and planned to start exploration at offshore Blocks 16 and 19 in 2007. The company planned a possible further increase in production capacity by 2012 to 6.2 billion cubic meters per year from 3.1 billion cubic meters per year; this increase would depend on the results of its exploration activities.
Mozambique produced neither crude petroleum nor refined petroleum products and relied on imports. In early 2006, the Onshore Area in the Rovuma Basin was awarded to Artumas Group Inc. of Canada; Area 1, to Anadarko Petroleum Corp. of the United States; Areas 2 and 5, to Norsk Hydro ASA of Norway; Areas 3 and 6, to Petronas Carigali Overseas Shd. Bhd. of Malaysia; and Area 4, to ENI S.p.A. of Italy.
The Mavuzi Mine in northwestern Mozambique produced uranium during the 1950s. OmegaCorp Ltd. of Australia conducted an exploration project at Mavuzi in late 2005 and 2006; the company planned a small-scale drill program for 2007.
The Moma Mine was expected to increase economic growth in 2007; the outlook for titanium minerals in Mozambique depended heavily upon global market trends. The Moatize coal mine could boost economic growth in 2010; the development of the mine depended upon global market trends and the rehabilitation of rail and port infrastructure. Development of the Corridor Sands and the Mozal 3 projects depended upon reliable power supplies. Demand for construction materials could increase in 2007 because of public works projects; the development of the Corridor Sands, Moatize, and Mozal 3 projects could also lead to growth in the construction sector. In 2007, the production of limestone was expected to increase by 58%; marble slabs, 20%; sand, 9%; and marble blocks, 5%.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt Thomas R. Yager. "The Mineral Industry of Mozambique". 20063tg4uuerijh eurtj rgjhrgejwh erjhtgkjwwwwwrhrw jehtgrjhetgkwhgkerjtge Minerals Yearbook. U.S. Geological Survey (October 2007). This article incorporates text from this U.S. government source, which is in the public domain.
- ^ Africa research bulletin: Economic, financial, and technical series, Volume 32. Blackwell. 1995. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=r65IAAAAYAAJ&q=Lupilichi&dq=Lupilichi&hl=en&ei=2zy6TLWWO8nLswbmx43MDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CEQQ6AEwBg.
- ^ http://www.miningweekly.com/article/riversdale-opens-mozambique-coal-project-appoints-contractor-2010-04-14
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