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Mozambique, Moma Titanium Mine

Financing vital infrastructure to facilitate mining; creating jobs and stimulating wider economic growth in Mozambique

The Moma Mineral Sands titanium-dioxide mine lies 160km from the city of Nampula, in northern Mozambique. Sited on a globally significant titanium mineral deposit, the mine currently provides 8% of the world’s titanium-dioxide minerals (illmenite, rutile) and meets 4% of global zircon demand. Financing infrastructure to enable the efficient mining of titanium-dioxide mineral sands will create jobs and boost Mozambique’s export earnings.

BACKGROUND

While Mozambique’s economy has developed considerably since the end of the civil war in 1992, the country remains one of the world’s poorest. With the vast majority of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture, the country faces a substantial trade imbalance. Titanium-dioxide pigments are in growing demand for their strength and durability, having numerous applications in paints, paper and plastics. Zircon is primarily used in ceramic tile production. The Moma Mineral Sands mine is expanding its operations to meet demand; significantly boosting Mozambique’s export earnings and helping to rebalance its trade deficit.

The Moma Mineral Sands mine is owned by Kenmare Resources plc, a company quoted on the London and Dublin stock exchanges. Located on the coast of Mozambique, Moma is able to export directly to customers, using its dedicated shipping facilities – eliminating expensive and high-carbon road transport. Such direct access to trade, coupled with the low-cost dredge mining technique required to extract the minerals makes Moma ideally placed to deliver a competitive product. Developed to strict environmental standards, the mine utilises a dedicated supply of sustainable hydro power. With mine expansion, the relatively poor population of the Larde Locality (where the mine is located), will benefit from improved power supply, road infrastructure, water, sanitation and communication networks.

THE DEAL

In 2004, US$97 million of equity was raised from the London and Dublin stock exchanges – along with long term debt of $189 million from a consortium of development finance institution lenders (including EAIF) and a commercial loan of US$80 million from ABSA, covered by guarantee from ECIC South African Export Credit Agency. This was followed by further add-on lending and small equity raises in the period 2004-2008. In 2010, a further US$270 million of pure commercial equity was raised to finance the expansion of the mine. By 2012, a total investment of US$888 million had been committed for the construction of the mine and associated infrastructure.

PIDG POSITION

It was extremely challenging to raise financing for a greenfield mining project, for a non-high value mining product in northern Mozambique. Several rounds of funding were needed from the lenders and equity providers, and significant production start-up problems had to be overcome. Although ABSA participated as a commercial lender (covered by an export credit agency guarantee), no other equivalent contributor was available to provide either the necessary loans to achieve full financing, or additional funding to mining projects facing difficulties. PIDG company EAIF played a key role in pulling together a consortium of development finance institution lenders to meet the financing. When it proved difficult to raise sufficient equity, EAIF also provided a significant portion of its loan financing, at a higher risk, as a subordinated lender. Lenders had to provide additional financing to overcome difficulties and, in 2009, re-schedule some of their loans for the project to reach completion, and to allow and support additional equity to be raised. The mine has been operational since 2007, and its expansion - funded mostly by the additional equity raised and existing cash flow - is currently under implementation.

DEVELOPMENT IMPACT

  • Total investment committed of US$888 million
  • As a result of the mine’s construction, most of the 27,500 local residents have benefited from vital infrastructure improvement - from roads and electricity, to water, sanitation and communication.
  • The presence of development finance institution lenders ensured that the project implementation follows high environmental and social international performance standards, and incorporates social initiatives aimed at local people, such as enabling the national electricity utility to provide power via the project’s purpose built power line and therefore expand the local electricity grid.
  • Mine construction created 1,000 short-term jobs (300 for local people) and 800 long-term jobs expected to rise to over 1,200 after the completion of the expansion, the majority of which are for local people.
  • Kenmare Resources generated US$167.5 million in revenues from exports for Mozambique in the calendar year 2011.
  • The project sponsors have established a community development fund aimed at:

- Improved healthcare and HIV/AIDS awareness programmes.
- Agricultural support to small farmers.
- SME skills training to small scale entrepreneurs.
- Infrastructure projects including school construction and water pump installation.

  • The mining project is a model of its kind, winning several environmental and social awards.
  • The Mozambique government’s poverty reduction strategy emphasises boosting economic growth. It explicitly recognises the economic and developmental potential of this project.