Ver Angola

Raw Materials

In search of the niobium. Years later, exploration of rare metal in Huila will really advance

The country will even go ahead with the exploration of a rare metal, known as niobium - a superconducting material used in the space industry. The exploration, which will receive an investment of 136.6 million dollars, will take place in the municipality of Quilengues, in Huila.

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The project will be the responsibility of the company Niobonga - Comércio Geral, Limitada. According to a presidential order, dated 29 May and quoted by Novo Jornal, this company will have to operate in the country according to the Mining Code.

The exploration will be done in an area of 443 square kilometres and, for that, the company will invest 136.6 million dollars.

This new exploration is important to "accelerate the prospecting, exploration, transformation and commercialization of non-oil mineral resources in the diversification of the economy and for the creation of jobs", indicates the document.

According to the presidential order, the duration of the mining exploration rights granted under the investment project now approved "is the one fixed in the exploration title and may be extended upon verification of compliance with the rules".

"The project promoter shall establish a legal reserve of 5 percent of the invested capital for mine closure and environmental restoration in compliance with the provisions of the Mining Code", reads the document.

Niobonga will also have to present, by November of each year, detailed information on the evolution of its mining activity to the ministerial department responsible for Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas, including the number of jobs created, classified by nationality and gender.

This new project may be important to boost the national economy. If Angola succeeds in extracting this metal, it could become a major seller of niobium and could increase exports from the mining sector and, consequently, increase the country's revenues.

Niobium is quite rare and is used to manufacture turbines, spacecraft, aircraft, missiles, electronic devices and power plants.

Already in years past, some companies had presented proposals to start the exploitation of the lands of Huila in search of this metal, however, the offers never came out of the paper.