Maputo — The Australian based mining company Syrah Resources has announced that it has been granted a 25 year mining licence for its Balama graphite and vanadium project in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.
The company praised the Mozambican government for the rapid processing and awarding of the licence, which came just five months after the initial application.
Syrah pointed out, "there are very few jurisdictions around the world that can boast a mining license being granted so efficiently from time of application. This followed an earlier example where Syrah was allotted water rights from Chipembe Dam promptly after applying for those rights".
It added, "these facts illustrate that Mozambique is most definitely 'open for business'".
The mining company thanked the Minister of Mineral Resources, Esperanca Bias, and the National Director of Mines, Eduardo Alexandre, "for their commitment and professionalism in the assessment process".
Syrah is confident that the project will be hugely profitable. It stated, "the deposit is extraordinary by every measure. It is by far the largest graphite deposit in the world as well as being a very sizeable vanadium deposit. It has large zones with extremely high grades of graphite and excellent grades of vanadium".
Recently, the company raised 35 million US dollars to finance the completion of the feasibility study for the Balama project, scheduled for the first quarter of next year. In addition, the funds will be used to pre-order equipment for the mine that has a long lead time.
It is confident that the mine can be developed for less than a hundred million dollars. Construction is due to begin as soon as the rainy season ends, in about April 2014.
Graphite is a form of carbon that is highly valued due to its properties as a conductor of electricity. It is used in batteries and fuel cells, and is the basis for the "miracle material" graphene, which is the strongest material ever measured, with vast potential for use in the electronics industries.