Mozambican authorities have seized more than 480 kilograms of tantalite from a Chinese company that had mined the mineral resource illegally in the centre of the country, the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy told Lusa on Monday.
The operation was launched on the 12th of this month by a joint team of the Zambézia province Mineral Resources and Energy personnel and the Protection of Natural Resources and Environment Force.
The tantalite seized was in 16 sealed bags weighing 30 kilograms each. The operation also netted five unsealed bags of ore. Various quantities of industrial beryl, mineral extraction equipment, computers and vehicles were also seized at the site.
The operation also resulted in the confiscation of money amounting to 125,000 meticais (EUR 1,832).
A Chinese citizen was detained but released on the spot after posting bail of 120,000 (EUR 1,759).
The company concerned received a prospecting license on 10 February 2005, but it had expired on 10 February 2010.
The case was referred to the Public Prosecutor’s Office for it to pursue a case of illegally prospecting and extracting minerals. Source: Lusa