Heavy sands miner Savannah Resources has started the construction of a pilot plant for its Mutamba project in the provinces of Gaza and Inhambane, southern Mozambique.
The 20 tonnes per hour pilot plant is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
The plant will produce bulk samples of metallurgical concentrate for analysis and prepare final products for test marketing. The construction and commissioning will be overseen by Mozambican based company Anubis Moçambique Limitada (AML).
The Mutamba project consists of three sand mining concessions in Gaza and Inhambane. The project is a joint undertaking by Savannah Resources, which is listed on the AIM market in London, and Rio Tinto. It became operational in October 2016.
In May, Savannah estimated the project could make up to $4bn over 30 years. At the same time, it was projected that production could start in 2020.
The dominant heavy mineral present in the concession area is ilmenite of which Savannah expects an annual production of 456,000 tonnes.
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