London — The British company Baobab Resources on Wednesday announced that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with the Australian exploration company, Metals of Africa (MTA), in relation to Baobab’s Changara project in the western Mozambican province of Tete.
The project contains zinc, lead, manganese, iron ore, fluorite, copper and silver.
The Changara project is situated next to MTA’s Rio Mazoe project, and under the agreement MTA will become the operator of the Changara Joint Venture which will cover 1,350 square kilometres.
MTA will fund the first work programme, which will cost a minimum of 150,000 US dollars. In return, it will receive 25 per cent of the shares in Baobab’s Changara project. The work programme is scheduled to be completed by August 2013.
MTA will then fund the second work programme costing 600,000 dollars, and will then own a total of 55 per cent of the project. This is due to be completed by November 2014.
The third work programme will cost MTA 1.2 million dollars and will result in MTA taking control of 80 per cent of the project. However, Baobab has the option to co-fund this third stage, which would maintain its 45 per cent stake. The completion date for this stage is August 2016.
According to Baobab’s managing director, Ben James, “the Joint Venture allows Baobab to concentrate its efforts on the Tete Pig Iron Project where the company is nearing the conclusion of a pre-feasibility study”.
Baobab is looking for a joint venture partner to build a pig iron smelter to process some of the 483 million tonnes of iron ore already confirmed in its concessions in Tete. Further drilling is expected to increase the confirmed iron ore reserves by between 120 and 260 million tonnes.
Baobab is working on a model with initial production of one million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of pig iron, expanding to two Mtpa by year seven and possibly even three or four Mtpa by year fourteen.