Globe Metals and Mining, an Australian publicly-listed company, which also owns the multi-commodity Kanyika Niobium Project in Mzimba, says it has the option to acquire up to a 90 percent interest in a high grade titanium project at Memba in Nampula province, Mozambique.
Last November, the miner acquired 80 percent of the project in a joint venture agreement with Mihandzu Mineral South Africa, which owns the titanium iron project.
There were indications then that it could acquire a further 10 percent, which it has announced, over a five-year period through a staged expenditure on exploration programmes.
Globe managing director Mark Sumich told Mining Weekly this week that the company is pleased to have secured the option to acquire the tenements alongside and adjacent to the Memba project which in total comprises approximately 1 000 square kilometres.
“We already liked operating in Mozambique [and] now we like it even more,” declared Sumich who has not indicated the cost of the acquisition.
Globe is an African focused resource company, specialising in rare metals such as niobium, tantalum and rare earths, as well as other commodities, including fluorite, uranium and zircon.
Last year, Sumich at the Africa Downunder Conference in Perth, Australian praised Malawi as a “very safe country” and a “wonderful place to operate” in and also made some positive comments about Mozambique.
“We like Mozambique and we see a large potential there. We see the hard rock industry there as being a great opportunity and as Globe continues to grow, there may be further acquisitions.
“Malawi is a very safe country. There is little unrest at the moment, but overall, the country is a wonderful place to operate in. Both countries are rated highly,” he said.
The company, which is still conducting a definitive feasibility study (DFS) due to be completed in the third quarter (July – September) of 2012 at Kanyika, has a number of other projects at an earlier stage of development.
It has 80 percent stake in Machinga Rare Earth Project in southern Malawi whose drilling started in November 2011 aimed at confirming and extending multiple zones of near surface, high grade heavy rare earth oxide mineralisation.
Globe is set to commence production of ferro-niobium, a key additivie in sophisticated steels at Kanyika in 2014.
In April 2011, Globe entered into a strategic partnership with East China Minerals Exploration and Development Bureau (ECE), a Chinese state-owned enterprise with extensive mining operations in China and overseas.
The company said it entered into a deal with ECE because niobium is a speciality steel and China represents over 50 percent of the growth in the niobium market, over 30 percent of total consumption and only two to three percent of production which means that China is the natural buyer of this product.
ECE is now the largest shareholder in Globe at 51 percent, and a key partner for GlobeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s growth ambitions in Africa.
The relationship between Globe and ECE is seen as mutually rewarding with the later offering capital, partners and customers and in reverse Globe offers ECE an established management team and a network of opportunities for expansion in Africa.