Mineral resources potential in Mozambique
|Location||International Geological Congress,oslo 2008|
|Author||Lehto, Tapio۱; Pekkala, Yrjo۱; Daudi, EXF۲; Marques, Joao۳|
|Holding Date||06 October 2008|
The Geological Mapping in Mozambique was financed by the NDF and it was a part of the Geological Infrastructure Development Program of the World Bank Mineral Resource Management Capacity Building. The geological mapping and mineral resources assessment started late 2002 and the final revisions of maps and data bases were submitted in June 2007.
A number of most potential mineral occurrences were checked, sampled and the data base updated accordingly. The GPS measured coordinates are now in WGS84, Moznet datum. The database forms the basis for the mineral occurrence and predictability maps prepared by GTK Consortium.
Mozambique’s geology is highly variable consisting mainly of Precambrian terranes which are predominantly covered in the south by Phanerozoic formations. Most gold, base metals and pegmatite connected tantalite and tin occurrences and carbonatite hosted deposits are located in the Precambrian terranes, although several alkaline and carbonatite complexes intrude Karoo sediments. The younger sedimentary formations contain various industrial minerals like coal, heavy minerals sands, limestone, bentonite and diatomite.
The potential for economic mineral concentrations is obviously good, but it is not yet properly utilized. Ongoing major projects are focused on natural gas, heavy minerals sands and coal. Gas fields are already in production in Pande and Temane fields in Inhambane Province. Industrial ilmenite production started in April 2007 in Moma, located on the coast of the Nampula Province. The Corridor Sands’ Chibuto deposit, at about 55 km inland from the present coastline in the Province of Gaza, is one of the largest heavy minerals resources in the world. Mozambique has the potential to become the world’s foremost producer of ilmenite. CVRD has completed the feasibility study for the Moatize coal deposit in Tete Province with measured, indicated and inferred resources at 4 000 million tonnes.
The outlook for active mineral industry in Mozambique is optimistic. However, the future depends on several internal and external factors, such as a fully transparent policy in awarding and controlling permits for exploration and mining. The new cadastre system is already the first important step. The Government should also seriously consider measures to promote investments in mineral sector such as improvement of infrastructure . Another major problem is the scarcity of local entrepreneurs to set up and manage small and medium scale enterprises. At the moment a large part of these everyday goods are imported.
In order to enter the international market and compete successfully, the price, the quality and the reliability of production must be proved. Although the commodity prices are currently high due to increasing demand, mineral wealth in itself does not guarantee welfare or social justice. Improved infrastructure together with clear mineral policy and transparent, good governance will provide keys to socio-economic development.