Noventa has announced that tantalum concentrate production has resumed at its Marropino mine in Mozambique following, and the company is now looking into a Toronto Stock Exchange listing. The production profile at Marropino will follow the previously announced three-stage process, consisting of re-processing the mine
tailings; processing of previously mined oversize material previously used by the plant to prove the process and adjust for maximum recovery, and processing of new material from the main ore body. All three phases are planned for completion this year. Noventa said that the first two stages of production would be at “modest levels” to ensure operational effectiveness before production from the Run-Of-Mine stage with higher grade levels of tantalum material commences in Q4. “It has been a challenging few months, but ultimately rewarding to achieve our first goal of restoring production at Marropino and I look forward to progressing the mine successfully,” said Delio Darsamo, engineering manager responsible for the Marropino mine and a director of Noventa’s subsidiary HAMC. The date of the planned restart of the mine was announced late last month. With production at Marropino now recommenced, the company continues to develop its 3 year plan and is working towards its TSX dual listing. The plan, which it hopes to present to shareholders in the next three months – is considering various options, including but not limited to, the expansion of throughput capacity at the Marropino plant, mining of Mutala & Morrua and further exploration work.
Back in February, Noventa terminated the agreement for the sale of morganite produced by the Marropino mine in Mozambique with Miranda Gems Hong Kong Ltd, while reaching another offtake agreement with another party. Marropino was placed on care and maintenance in May 2008. In October 2009, Noventa declared it was mulling all options regarding the asset, subsequently deciding to reopen Marropino due to the positive medium term outlook for tantalum demand.
The demand for the metal, which is used in the manufacturing of capacitors for mobile phones, motherboards and audio and video equipment, is projected to outstrip supply in 2010 and 2011, while the production of microelectronic goods is projected to increase, Noventa said.
The company’s new chief operating officer Patrick Lawless started this month, and he is due to succeed CEO John Allan by the end of June. Lawless has previously served as CEO of ESR Technology Ltd and CEO of Bureau Veritas UK & Ireland, an international testing and certification services business with many clients in the natural resources and process industry sectors. Lawless who speaks Portuguese, Mozambique’s national language, will be based at the company’s operational headquarters in Maputo, Mozambique.
Additional Resources: (1) Tantalum Capacitors: World Markets, Technologies & Opportunities: 2010-2015 ISBN # 1-893211-11-8 (© April 2010) (2) TANTALUM: Global Market Outlook: 2008-2013 ISBN # 0-929717-81-3 (2008)