Kenmare operates the Moma Titanium Minerals Mine, located on the north east coast of Mozambique. The Moma Mine contains deposits of heavy minerals which include the titanium minerals ilmenite and rutile, as well as the zirconium silicate mineral, zircon.
Ilmenite and rutile are used in the manufacture of titanium dioxide pigment and titanium metal. Titanium dioxide pigment has high opacity and brilliant whiteness, which is principally used in paints, paper and plastics. The primary application for zircon is in the manufacture of opacifiers for ceramics. Titanium metal is a light, strong metal with low co-efficient of thermal expansion which is used in aerospace and other demanding applications.
Mining is principally undertaken using dredges which float in artificial mining ponds. These dredges pump the mineral sands that form the wall of the pond into a floating Wet Concentrator Plant (WCP). A heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) is produced, which is then pumped to the nearby Mineral Separation Plant (MSP) where it is separated into final products for export via Kenmare’s company-owned port facility.
All operations at the site are powered using hydro-generated electricity transmitted to the location by a company-owned, 170km-long, 110kV overhead transmission line. The ability to use dredge mining, low-cost power and direct export facilities from the site at Moma are significant factors that differentiate the Moma Mine.
DREDGING Dredging takes place in two separate artificial freshwater ponds where three dredges feed two floating Wet Concentrator Plants (WCP A and WCP B). Before dredging, the dredge path is cleared of vegetation and topsoil. The topsoil is recovered for use in re-vegetation. The dredges cut into the ore at the base of the pond, causing the mineralised sand to slump into the mining pond where it is pumped to a WCP. The dredges are supplemented by supplemental mining which uses standard surface mining equipment. The ore from supplemental mining is slurried and pumped to a WCP for processing.
WET CONCENTRATOR PLANT The first processing stage at the WCPs consists of rejecting oversize material, after which the feed is passed over progressive stages of gravity spirals, which separate the heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) from silica sand and clay tailings.
DUNE REHABILITATION Tailings consist of a coarse fraction (silica sand) that settles immediately and a fine fraction (clay) that settles less quickly. Both fractions are co-deposited into a series of settling ponds. Thickened fine tails are pumped from these settling ponds to drying paddocks located in the rehabilitation zone, where the dried material helps the subsoil retain moisture and nutrients to aid revegetation. Tailings are then re-contoured and the previously removed topsoil is redeposited. Rehabilitation is completed by seeding or planting with a variety of native and/or other species of vegetation as well as food crops. The area is then transferred back to the local communities.
HEAVY MINERAL CONCENTRATE HMC representing approximately 5% by weight of the ore mined, is pumped to the Mineral Separation Plant (MSP) where it is stockpiled prior to further processing. HMC consists of the valuable heavy minerals ilmenite, rutile and zircon, other heavy minerals, and a small amount of light minerals, the bulk of which is silica.
WET HIGH INTENSITY MAGNETIC SEPARATION HMC is transferred from stockpiles by front-end loaders and fed to the Wet High Intensity Magnetic Separation (WHIMS) plant to separate magnetic from non-magnetic fractions.
MINERAL SEPARATION PLANT The MSP uses a series of magnetic, gravity and electrostatic separation circuits to separate valuable minerals and also to produce various ilmenite, rutile and zircon product grades to meet specific customer requirements.
The magnetic fraction of WHIMS output is dried and processed by electrostatic separation to produce final ilmenite products.
The non-magnetic fraction of the WHIMS output passes to the wet gravity separation circuit to remove silica and trash minerals. Electrostatic separators are then used to separate the conducting mineral rutile from the non-conducting mineral zircon.
PRODUCT STORAGE Ilmenite and rutile are stored in a 185kt capacity warehouse, while zircon is stored in a separate 35kt capacity warehouse to reduce the potential for cross-contamination. Both warehouses load product onto a 2.4km long overland conveyor.
CONVEYOR AND JETTY The conveyor transports product to the end of a 400m long jetty, where product is loaded onto transhipment vessels, at a rate of 1,000 tonnes per hour. Kenmare owns and operates two transhipment vessels, the Bronagh J and the Peg.
TRANSHIPMENT VESSELS The vessels transport the products to a deep water transhipment point 10km offshore, where they self-discharge into ocean-going bulk carrier vessels. These vessels then transport the final products to multiple destinations around the world.
Other infrastructure: Other infrastructure on site includes a 170km 110kV power transmission line, a sub-station, a leased 9.6 MW diesel generator plant, an accommodation village, offices, laboratory, an airstrip, water supply and sewage treatment plants.
- Surface mineralisation (no overburden)
- Low cost hydro power
- Coastal location (limited overland transport) with a dedicated port facility
- Significant co-product revenue from zircon production
- Ilmenite products suitable for sulphate and chloride markets without further beneficiation
- Substantial mineral resources providing >100 year mine life