JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Mozambique’s Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy is “actively” considering that granting of three mining lease applications that form part of Aim-listed Savannah Resources’ Mutamba heavy mineral sands project.
The mine lease applications cover an area of 417.32 km² and comprise the Jangamo, Dongane, Ravene and Chilubane deposits.
Savannah is the operator of the Mutamba project, which it is developing in a consortium with Rio Tinto.
Savannah holds a 20% interest in the consortium and can increase its equity to 35% upon the delivery of a prefeasibility study (PFS), which is currently under way, and to 51% upon the delivery of a definitive feasibility study.
“While we await the outcome of government analysis, we continue to make progress in advancing some critical work streams at Mutamba. A sequenced scheduling of PFS activities has been agreed and key initial studies are either under way or about to start,” said Savannah CEO David Archer.
The studies include hydrology studies, port options and the collection of 10 t of sample material to aid in final product determination.
“These are all essential elements that will inform the PFS and the results of which will guide us in the infrastructure, power, mine planning and process plant requirements. It is an exciting time as we see the future mine plan form and take shape,” he enthused in a statement on Monday.
The applications, which are currently being reviewed, were submitted to the Ministry on January 18 and the mining cadastre reopened on April 2 following its annual closure.
The Ministry has six months from the date of the cadastre reopening to respond to the applications, although this can be an iterative process, Savannah noted.
Mining leases are generally awarded for a term of 25 years and can be renewed at the end of their terms.
Following extensive testing, the pilot plant has been placed under care and maintenance, as planned, while a bulk sample is obtained, and community development activities continue as part of the licensing process.
In addition, Savannah noted that the scoping phase of the PFS is now well advanced and the initial key studies for the PFS have been sequenced, with roll out under way, including further roasting testwork and a 10 t bulk sample to be collected from the Matilda licence.