DILI, 30 november 2023 (TATOLI) – The Government of Timor-Leste, through the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (MPMR) has officially announced four mining companies as the ‘Bid Winners’ of the Timor-Leste Minerals Tender 2023 – Estrella Resources Lida, Peak Everest Mining Lda, Beacon Minerals Limited and Iron Fortune Pty Ltd.
In march 21, 2023, the Government of Timor-Leste launched its first licensing round (Timor-Leste Minerals Tender 2023) for mineral exploration, offering a total of 49 concession areas for investment. The 49 concession areas covered were opened for public tender covering a total surface area of 2,276 square kilometers.
Last month, the IX Government of Timor-Leste, through the Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals (MPM) announced nine mining companies are eligible to compete in the Timor-Leste Minerals Tender 2023.
“Out of the 49 concession areas opened for tender process, thirteen (13) concession areas are awarded to the four successful bidders. The four successful bidders are Estrella Resources Limited with three concession areas, namely MEL2023-CA-ZA001, MEL2023-CA-ZA002, and MEL2023-CA-ZA003. Peak Everest Mining Lda with only one concession area – MEL2023-CA-ZA004. Six concession areas such as MEL2023-CA-ZB003, MEL2023-CA-ZB004, MEL2023-CA-ZB005, MEL2023-CA-ZB006, MEL2023-CA-ZB007, and MEL2023-CA-ZB008 are awarded to Beacon Minerals Limited and Iron Fortune Pty Ltd with three concession areas including MEL2023-CA-ZB002, MEL2023-CA-ZG004, and MEL2023-CA-ZG007,” said in a statement.
These four companies (Estrella Resources, Peak Everest Mining, Beacon Minerals and Iron Fortune) will carry out preliminary exploration for metals and ores in zones A, B and G, located in the municipalities of Baucau, Viqueque, Manatuto, and the Special Administrative Region of Oé-Cusse Ambeno (RAEOA).
With regard to the other zones – C, D, E, and F – Francisco Monteiro said that his ministry will open a public tender in the next few years to attract international companies to carry out research into mineral wealth.
The Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (MPRM), Francisco Monteiro, on the sidelines of the tender announcing ceremony, at the Hotel Timor, said that the event marked a milestone in which Timor-Leste began, for the first time, a process of exploiting mineral resources.
“With the announcement of the tender, the winning companies will make every effort to complete the necessary documents before they begin drilling for mineral resources. Preliminary explorations will last two to three years, in order to identify the mineral resources in the area before proceeding with extraction,” said Minister Monteiro.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Minerals Authority, Rafael Araújo, said that, according to the terms of reference, the criteria considered in the selection process were based on the company’s technical capacity, financial resources for carrying out the exploration activity, a commitment to implement a local impact program, as well as the company’s own legal formalities for carrying out exploration work and mining activities.
He also pointed out that, based on the documents submitted, six companies applied for the tender and only four were considered to meet the minimum requirements set out in the terms of reference and the subsequent evaluation matrix. CMTL and Tech Minerals Pty were excluded as they did not meet the criteria.
Rafael Araújo highlighted the importance of carrying out explorations of Timor-Leste’s mineral resources, as they can provide detailed results on the potential of the country’s subsoil natural resources.
“The aim of the research activities is to provide the government with information regarding the quantity and quality of the country’s mineral resources. Their success will contribute directly to the country’s economy through revenue, as well as creating jobs for the Timorese,” he said.
Mary Thompson, the director of Iron Fortune, thanked the Government of Timor-Leste for the privilege and honor of being one of the winners of the public tender: “We will make every effort to move forward with the mineral extraction phase and also to create employment opportunities for the Timorese.”
Journalist: Jose Belarmino de Sá
Editor: Filomeno Martins