Joint venture (JV) partners Rio Tinto and Savannah Resources have received the third and final mining concession for the Mutamba heavy mineral sands projects from the Mozambique Government.
The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy has passed mining license 9228C, completing the project’s full tenement permissions.
License 9228C, or Jangamo Rio covers 11,807 hectares of land close to the Port of Inhambane. The estimated mineral resource is 4.4 billion tonnes at 3.9 per cent heavy minerals.
Jangamo Rio has access to daily air service, a reliable power supply and excellent road connections, placing it strategically for export.
Rio Tinto and Savannah struck a consortium agreement in October 2016 as Rio Tinto’s adjacent Mutamba project combined with Savannah’s Jangamo project.
The combined project area includes Rio Tinto’s existing camp and equipment and fast tracks the project’s development.
Savannah chief executive David Archer said this third license approval was one of the most important milestones in Mutamba’s development.
“In the short term, our focus will be to continue to progress with Mutamba pre-feasibility study towards completion,” Archer said.
“Upon delivery, this will trigger the increase in our interest in the project from 20 per cent to 35 per cent.
“The process has been rigorous and demanding but the global significance of (this) opportunity is clear and compelling.”
Once the Mutamba project moves closer to production, the interest of Savannah as an operator may increase up to 51 per cent.
Savannah is aiming to deliver first production at Mutamba this year, targeting an average annual production of 456,000 tonnes of ilmenite and 118,000 tonnes of non-magnetic concentrate.
Mutamba has an initial estimated mine life is 30 years, with license 9228C valid until September 2044 and the potential to extend for an additional 25 years.