Australia's MDL gets OK to mine zircon in Senegal
Signed by MDL Managing Director Jeffrey Wayne William and Senegalese Mining and Industry Minister Madicke Niang, the agreement allows the exploitation of deposits that "represent seven percent of world production" of zircon beginning in 2009, the Senegalese news agency APS reported.
On its website MDL said: "Zircon production from the Grande Cote will be of world significance at about 85,000 tonnes per year -- making it the fourth largest zircon mine in the world."
The project is expected to cost some 180 million dollars to get underway, according to Senegalese national television RTS.
Niang said Senegal sold MDL a 50-year concession for 320 million dollars, and expected to receive more than 150 million dollars over the first 25 years of the project, according to APS.
In addition to jewellery, zircon is also used in the electronics, chemicals, textile and pharmaceutical industries.
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