Mozambique is a nation rich in gas and mineral reserves which are to a large extent untapped. With its particularly vast deposits of bauxite, graphite, gold, and other precious minerals, as well as huge natural gas and oil reserves, the country’s mining industry is still full of unrealised potential. We take a look at facts and figures on the mining industry in Mozambique, with a focus on 2021 up to now.
Facts and figures on Mozambique’s mining industry
The mining industry’s GDP
In the first quarter (Q1) of 2022, Mozambique’s mining sector raked in a GDP of 8,937 million MZN (approximately $139,929), a drop from 11,676 million MZN (about $182,814) it attained in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021.
The extractives Export trade
Metals, fossil fuels, and minerals make up a large part of Mozambique’s international exports. In 2021, the country shipped fossil fuels valuing $1.1 billion overseas as well as $1.8 billion in metals and minerals. Aluminium, titanium, and gold accounted for most of the metal and mineral exports.
The value of the country’s fossil fuel exports actually dipped that year, the first drop in value since 2017 when these exports reached a whopping $3.9 billion.
Source: Julia Faria, Statista
Home of the world’s biggest, lowest-cost graphite mine
The Balama graphite mine in Mozambique, owned by miner Syrah Resources, is the largest and most economical graphite mine on Earth, with an estimated 1.15 billion tonnes of high-grade, 10.2% graphite in deposits.
In September of 2021, the Balama mine had an 85% recovery in its yield, producing an output of 15kt of natural graphite – a huge step-up from the previous year, when the mine drastically lowered its output due to the stunted graphite prices that year. However, now prices and demand for the mineral are back up, especially due to it being a key component in EV batteries and energy storage, Balama is driving up production again.
Recently this year, a solar and battery setup was approved for the mine, making it a hybrid mine adding to the increasing number of mines operated using hybrid renewable energy solutions, and an example of Africa’s movement towards sustainable, self-powered, economical mining with lower electricity expenses.
The life of the mine is predicted to be at least 50 years, and in the future is set to provide graphite to Tesla, the famous US manufacturer of electric cars.
Source: Investor Intel; Mining Weekly
Most active mining provinces of Mozambique
As of 2021, the most mined regions in the country are Tete, Manica, Cabo Delgado, Nampula, and Niassa, which hold the most significant mineral deposits in Mozambique.
Source: Mining 2021 – a report compiled by Lexology Getting the Deal Through
One of the largest titanium deposits on the globe
Along with the biggest graphite mine in the world, Mozambique also boasts one of the largest titanium mineral reserves at the Moma mine, which is owned and run by mining firm Kenmare Resources.
In 2020, the mine had a yield of 1,201,100 tonnes of its finished product, heavy mineral concentrate (HMC). HMC is made up of a combination of three titanium minerals contained in the mine, ilmenite, zircon, and rutile, mined through dredging. These minerals are utilised to produce titanium dioxide pigment. The mine also exported around 853,100 tonnes of HMC in the year 2020.
Moma lies 160km outside of Nampula, a city in the country.
Source: Mining Technology
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