Indústrias Florestais (TCT-IF) has plans to invest $3-million into its Catapu limestone project.

James Whaite, TCT-IF Manager said the aim was to commercialise the limestone alongside agricultural products.

 “In this way permitting the increase in the production and productivity of the sector,” said Whaite.

The already operating forestry side of the business includes sawmill and a factory producing furniture and semi finished products for export.

Located in the Cheringoma district of Sofala, 20 km south-west of the town of Caia, the mining licence area covers 27 km2 and is actually within a 24 812 ha forestry concession, also held by TCT-IF.

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The exploration licence is part of the forestry concession and original exploration budget for the project was $200 000.

Only limited exploration work had previously been done on the deposit, with the result that no resource had been determined.

“There was, however, evidence that small-scale mining activities had taken place in the past.”

The exploration licence for the limestone was granted to TCT-IF in January 2016 and is valid for two years.

In a corporate presentation delivered in August, Premier African Minerals stated that  preliminary test work on surface material indicates acceptable grades of calcium carbonate for limestone and cement production; solubility for Agri-lime; and material that is suitable for aggregates production.

The company added that it was planning an exploration programme and preliminary scoping study over the course of 2017.

On its website, Premier African Minerals reports that there is good local demand for lime for cement production, agricultural applications, as well as aggregates.