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    8 April, 2011
Beacon Hill set to acquire new coal licence
The British company Beacon Hill Resources has announced its intention to acquire a further coal exploration licence in the Moatize coal basin in the western Mozambican province of Tete,

The licence (number 1165L) is currently held by Global Minerals and Metals (GMM) of the United States. Under a memorandum of understanding between the two companies, GMM will sell the licence to Beacon Hill for 42 million US dollars. Beacon Hill has paid a deposit of two million dollars and will pay the rest when the deal is concluded.

The licence area is in the Calambo area, 55 kilometres from Tete city, 40 kilometres from Beacon Hill’s existing mine, Minas de Moatize, and just to the east of the open cast mine being opened in Moatize by the Brazilian company Vale. It covers an area of 11,467 square kilometres.

According to Beacon Hill’s statement on the planned acquisition, GMM estimated the total coal resource in the area at over 450 million tonnes with good potential for coking coal.

GMM drilled 55 boreholes, ranging in depth from 104.2 to 185.1 metres. Three coal seams were identified, varying in thickness from two metres to 26.7 metres,

The Beacon Hill Executive Chairman, Justin Lewis, said “This represents a very significant opportunity for the Group, and demonstrates the first step in the Group’s wider expansion strategy, linking our current and near term production with a longer term development project to provide considerable value uplift for investors”.

Licence 1165L, he added, “represents a rare opportunity in a prime locality in the globally significant coking coal district of the Moatize basin”. Lewis expected the acquisition to increase Beacon Hill’s coal resources in Tete fivefold.

Minas de Moatize is a small underground mine, but, unlike the giant open cast projects of Vale or of its Australian rival Riversdale, it is already in production. Beacon Hill took management control of Minas de Moatize in May 2010, and in the first three months of its operations increased production from 2,000 to 8,000 tonnes of coal a month. The coal is used domestically, and exported by road to Malawi.

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