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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Emailing: Mozambique Providing the Information

Resource Investor - News that trades
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Mozambique: Providing the Information

By Jim Jones
07 Feb 2008 at 09:00 AM

CAPE TOWN ( <> ) -- When
Mozambique appears in the news these days, it almost seems that all there is
to report is yet another disaster. The latest is flooding as rain in Zambia
and Angola swells the Zimbabwe River, up-river dam spillways are opened, and
large areas are inundated by flood waters.

When problems arrive, they seem to come in threes.

The good news is different. Mozambique is doing everything it can to attract
mining investment, and it is succeeding. As Deputy Director of Geology
Adriano Servano told delegates at the Mining
<> Indaba in Cape
Town, rapidly progressing geophysical and geochemical surveys have added
significantly to the publicly available information on the country.

Without being flippant, Mozambique is an "uninteresting" country in some
African terms. It is at peace with itself, it is quietly attracting
investment, the economy is growing steadily at more than 7% a year (of a
small base, certainly, but 7%-plus nevertheless) and it is building minerals
infrastructure. Sadly for the popular press, there are no wars, famines or
uncontrollable natural disasters. This is an ordinary country, quietly going
about the business of developing its economy on a number of fronts.

Mining and fiscal legislation that encourages investment is in place and
working as far as early investors are concerned. On the minerals front, the
nation's geological survey has been completing geophysical mapping of the
entire country - information that is available digitally to would-be
investors. The same goes for geochemical surveys, though this is somewhat
less progressed than geophysical mapping. Nevertheless, geochemical data
sets and industrial minerals reports are readily available. So, too, is the
cadastral survey which provides quick access to information on property
title ownership.

Developing new mines takes time. Still, Kenmare Resources [LSE:KMR
<> ] has brought its heavy
minerals sands operation on stream in the north of the country in short
order. And, finance director Tony McCluskey told delegates, Kenmare has
nothing but praise for the way in which Mozambican officials have
facilitated the company's project development.

The Kenmare project came on stream in April 2007 and is already producing an
annual 80,000 tonnes of ilmenite along with the full suite of titanium
minerals. Next in line is a major export coal mining development by Xstrata
[LSE:XTA <> ] near the town of
Tete, which is near the Cahora Bassa hydro dam on the Zambesi and based on a
coal resource that has been mined spasmodically since colonial times.

Mozambique's principal resource endowment is the country's gas, which is
piped to South Africa, largely for conversion into liquid automotive fuels.
But these gas, heavy minerals and coal projects would seem to be just the
start of a programme of further developments. Expect more big things to
happen in this "uninteresting" African nation.

(c) Copyright 2008, Resource Investor.
Printed via the AbsolPublisher content management system.


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