JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The first shipment of tantalum concentrate from Aim-listed Noventa’s Marropino mine, in Mozambique, would leave the Quelimane port for Asia on Tuesday.
The shipment of the 8 000 kg of tantalum concentrate was the first since the mine was restarted in April this year, with a second shipment to another customer scheduled to take place in October.
This formed part of the company’s plans to finalise logistics plans for exports from the mine and to revise and adjust shipping routes and procedures before full production is achieved at the mine.
Noventa was planning to upgrade the Marropino plant’s capacity to more than 500 000 lb/y of tantalum pentoxide during 2010/11, representing a 70% increase on the current 300 000-lb/y capacity.
The miner noted in a statement on Monday that it had, since taking over the mine, planned to ship concentrate from a local port and not to ship the concentrate to the Walvis Bay port, in Namibia, as had previously been done.
The refurbished Quelimane port, in Zambezia province, was about 350 km from Marropino, but was also the closest port.
Noventa is also considering using the Nacala port, in the Nampula province, as an alternative option, depending on shipping timetables, it stated.
“I am delighted that we have been able to begin to supply our two key customers. I am also especially pleased that we have been able to meet our stated objective to use a Mozambique port. This not only shortens significantly our logistic tail, but also provides welcome support to Mozambique's growing infrastructure,” said nonexecutive chairperson Eric Kohn.
Tantalum is widely used in the consumer electronics industry, mainly as powder and wire for capacitors in telecommunications devices and implantable medical devices.