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The Mozambique government and Chinese companies Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group and Yunnan Xinli Non-Ferrous Metals Co. on Monday signed a contract for exploration of heavy minerals in Chibuto, Gaza province, the Mozambican press reported.
The Chinese companies will invest over US$471 million in exploration of mineral sands in that southern region of Mozambique and expect to extract around one million tons per year of ilmenite (iron titanium oxide) over 25 years.
The ore will be transported by road to the port of Maputo, the Mozambican capital, a journey of about 250 kilometres, and its final destination will be China, where it will be processed.
The Chinese companies replace Delta Zambeze, which explored the area for a few years, and recently lost its exploration and land use license (DUAT) due to an alleged lack of capacity to manage the project.
Heavy sands allow the extraction of metals such as ilmenite, rutile and zircon, used in various technological industries, including aerospace and telecommunications.
In Mozambique, along with Chibuto, there are deposits of heavy mineral sands in Moma district, in the province of Nampula (north) and the District of Jangamo, in Inhambane province (south). (macauhub/CN/MZ)