Mining & Energy
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After ruby, oil, gas and a multitude of other mineral resources, Mozambique looks set to again shine with yet another great discovery, perhaps one of the largest in Africa and perhaps the world, O País reports.
According to a survey conducted by Mwiriti, Lda, one of Mozambique’s largest gemstone companies, large gold reserves have been confirmed in the province of Cabo Delgado.
According to Azghar Faqhr, managing director of Mwiriti, “preliminary results indicate gold reserve about six times as large as those discovered in South Africa”.
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In addition to the amount of ore, the reserves are considered special due to the occurrence of gold of almost 100 percent purity, and regarded as the highest grade in the country.
“Nairoto gold is 22 carat, that is, it comes out of the earth at between 86 and 91 percent purity, better even than that in Manica,” Faqhr says.
The gold reserve is located in Montepuez district, in the remote administrative post of Nairoto, where a small mining complex has already been set up in the midst of dense forest.
“Since we started researching in 2015, we have so far invested about US$11 million, some of which, more than half, was used to buy and install equipment at the future gold processing plant in Nairoto,” Azghar said.
According to what ‘O País’ has learned, material extracted during the research phase is currently being processed, and will serve to evaluate the true potential of the goldfield and determine the size of the final investment in Nairoto.
According to the engineer of the plant, “We are still in an experimental phase. The equipment here can only process about 5 tons per hour, but in the production phase we project around 50,000 tons [per hour]”.
About 160 workers, mostly Mozambicans and natives of Nairoto adminisrative post, have been living and working at the complex since the start of the project. They began during exploration and today, while some process the mineral, others are busy in taking care of the logistics of the mining camp, where there is electricity, water and the minimum comfort of a house.
From game reserve to gold mine
Mwiriti Lda arrived in Nairoto in 2003, by means of a forest concession for the creation of a reserve for sport hunting. However, because of poaching and the impossibility of monitoring the area, which located in the Quirimbas National Park buffer zone, the animals disappeared and the site lost its tourism potential.
According to Faqr, Quirimbas National Park administrator Amadeu dos Muchangos told him about there being gold in the region in 2005,, but because it was just talk among friends, the matter was soon forgotten.
Confirmation came with the start of illegal mining in around 2010, and when Mwiriti Lda once again recalled this conversation, the idea of prospecting in the concession took root.
Mining being costly, research began only in 2015, and two years later the mining company obtained its first results, which, if the area’s potential is confirmed, could place Mozambique among the largest gold producers in the world.
By Hizidine AcháSource: O País
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