Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAV) has been granted a mining licence for its Mutamba mineral sands project in Mozambique, which the firm operates under a joint venture with mining major Rio Tinto plc (LON:RIO).
The licence covers 11,948 hectares and is valid to April 2044, with the possibility of an additional 25-year extension.
The licence is the first of three contiguous concessions to be issued that will result in the full tenement permitting of Mutamba.
Mutamba contains an indicated and inferred resource of 4.4bn tonnes grading 3.9% total heavy minerals. It is located close to the port of Inhambane and has a daily air service, a reliable power supply and excellent road connections.
"We are delighted with the issue of the first concession by the Government of Mozambique, and now look forward to the issue of the remaining two mining licences, 9229CC and 9228C,” said David Archer, Savannah's chief executive.
He added that Mutamba is arguably “one of the most attractive undeveloped mineral sands deposits in the world,” on the basis of its size.
"Our focus is now on progressing the pre-feasibility study at Mutamba towards completion, which, upon delivery, will trigger the increase in our interest in the project from 20% to 35%,” Archer added.