The production plan for the extractive industry sector for 2023 projects overall growth of 23.1 percent, which will be supported by increased production of rubies, coal, heavy sands (ilmenite, zircon and rutile), natural gas and construction materials, according to the Economic and Social Plan and State Budget 2023 (PESOE 2023).
The Government supports the forecast, with the trend that the international market has been presenting.
“Gradually, the international market shows itself to be open to the trade of mineral resources and companies in the mining area have been resuming the normal rhythm of production, resulting from the adaptation of mitigation measures aimed at reducing the negative impacts of the pandemic shock and the repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on global supply chains,” indicates the PESOE 2023.
In this perspective, there is an increase in the production of minerals with great weight in the global structure, namely gold, heavy sands, graphite, ruby and mineral coal.
According to the Government, the operationalisation of the Kimberley Process Management Unit (UGPK), the technical procedures for tracking the production and commercialisation of precious metals and gems, allows for the gauging of the real production and recovery of undeclared data.
“In 2023, screening activity will be intensified to maximise the collection of production data by companies and in artisanal mining.”
Under the PESOE 2023, the gold production plan indicates a 23.0% growth compared to projections for the year 2022, as production of 1,341.80Kg is expected in 2023.
According to the Government, the growth is a result of: (i) greater control of artisanal mining; (ii) good performance of companies producing this mineral resource in 2022, whose production plan is 1,022kg; (iii) continued exploration of hard rock deposits; (iv) introduction of a new processing plant in the year 2022, significantly increasing processing capacity by mid 2023; (v) resumption of activities of exploration companies in Manica in the year 2022; and (vi) expected start of production by companies in Nampula.
On the heavy sands side, production is expected to grow due to the start of production at the new concessions and increased production at the largest heavy sands mining company as a result of increased supply in the ilmenite pigment sector and increased demand in the international market.
The projections indicated in the PESOE 2023, point to a growth in the production of graphite in the order of 48.0%, in relation to the 2022 projections, following the recovery of the largest company producing this mineral resource. It is also anticipated that demand in the flake graphite market will continue to increase, as well as the potential improvement in the availability of maritime containers from 2022 onwards, reflected in an increase in production to 270,000 Ton in 2023.
In precious stones and gems, the highlight goes to the start of ruby production in Montepuez in 2022 and the significant increase in the production of the largest producer of this mineral resource that has returned to full operation. It is estimated that for 2023 production will increase by 186.0%, representing 12,636,051 carats, with the improvement of the processing plants and production means. A total of 10,000 metres is planned to be drilled in rotary and helical drill holes in order to reach the primary deposit and identify the source of the premium ruby and delineate the mineralised body.
Regarding the production of mineral coal, in 2023 the growth rates will be 18.0% for coking coal and 28.0% for thermal coal compared to the projections for 2022, representing, 8,362,803.30 Ton for coking coal and 7,893,151.60 Ton for thermal coal.