Mining & Energy
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The Mozambique Mining Exploration Company (EMEM) intends to return gemstone processing and cutting services to its remit as part of its efforts to impose legality on the exploration and commercialisation of mining products.
It is proposed that the EMEM, a state-owned enterprise, should be an investment for all segments of society, and that 80% of the purchase and sale of mining products should be controlled by the state. “We think that reaching this bar would be very good,” president of the EMEM Board of Directors Celestino Sitóe says.
One of the steps to be taken in this direction will be the establishment of a stone processing and stone cutting company so that the country will again have a “Made in Mozambique” brand of mineral products and gems. Preference will be given to specialised stores, either already established or yet to be created. “Mozambique once had a company selling cut gemstones and precious stones, and we aim to restore it.”
In the same way, EMEM says that the different defence and security sectors, including ports, airports and border services, should take a primary role in rooting out the vandalism and illegality which characterise today’s mining activity.
All these sectors must be able to detect even the smallest amount of mineral material being taken abroad illegally or traded on the parallel market.
“Take commercialisation of the illegal segment under legal control and get the state making money through gem marketing centres. We started with gold, but we will go on to precious stones and gems. Parallel to this, we will create commercial warehouses for diamonds and precious metals and gems,” Sitóe proposes.
The Kimberley Certification System will be used in these sales centres to prevent the shipment of raw diamonds from conflict zones – the so-called blood diamonds.
Although there is still diamond prospecting in the Massangena region of Gaza province, EMEM has no involvement there.
The government intends to expand the application of the Kimberley process beyond diamonds. “We want it to apply to precious metals and gems,” Sitoe says.
The newspaper ‘Domingo’ also learned that a symposium of all those holding a mining and marketing license for mineral products would soon be held, to discuss the mechanisms for implementing these measures.
With a view to ensuring better returns for the state, Sitoe says that EMEM is looking to play a more important role in the management of companies in which it has holdings, even if they are minority shares.
“Another major challenge we face is the commercialisation of products from small-scale artisanal mining. As is well known, operators in this segment do not have organised structures, which makes it difficult to access their products, so we have to act in support of state initiatives on their behalf,” he said.
By Jorge RungoSource: Domingo
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