This African country has remained off of the radar for many but dismissing it outright would be a mistake.
The Republic of Mozambique, most often simply referred to as Mozambique is found along the south eastern coast of Africa. The country is warm yet tropical which can make it ideal for gold hunting since most days will be nice and sunny but without the oppressive heat so long as you avoid the summer months of October through April.
If you do manage to visit during the better months you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find an abundance of gold throughout the country as there is an estimated 37+ tons of gold to be found in Mozambique.
Manica Greenstone Belt
If you’re still up to prospecting and finding some of your own you may want to start in what is called the Manica Greenstone belt. You can find this area situated close to the border with Zimbabwe.
While there is one commercial mine to be found here, the Monarch mine, there is still plenty of gold to be found. The mine itself only takes up a small area of the Manica Greenstone belt leaving lots of area for travelling prospectors to inspect. The primary challenge with mining gold within greenstone is that it is generally very low grade ore deposits, and it takes large commercial mining operations to profitably mine these resources.
If you come here to search you should look around Revue, Inhamurra, Muza, and the Chemezi Rivers, as all have been found to contain gold from alluvial deposits.
These rivers alone are estimated to hold 25 tons of the total gold to be found throughout Mozambique. These deposits are massively underdeveloped up to this point. While artisanal miners have worked these alluvial deposits for a very long time, traditional mining techniques have not even begun to tap into this rich source of gold.
Mining in the Niassa Province
Heading north from the Manica Greenstone belt you will find the Niassa province in the northwestern areas of Mozambique. This is a fairly fresh and new area for gold mining as exploration has only recently begun.
The gold found here is different than the gold found within the Manica Greenstone belt as it is to be found within quartz veins within the greenbelts of the area. This is often free-milling gold that occurs within the quartz, and the assays can be very high in some rich areas. These belts are from the Paleo Proterozoic time and are located along the shores of the Lake Nyasa.
Some estimates show that an impressive 12 tons of gold has been collected from these quartz veins since the 1990’s. Much of the gold that has been mined here has been done illegally and then sold to the neighboring country of Tanzania, meaning that overall production is merely an estimate and could likely be even higher.
A Hard Living
Many of the men and women that live in these areas mine the lakes and rivers themselves for a living. In this area it is common to find large holes in the ground that the men duck in and out of that go up to 20 meters below the surface. They are all covered in the bright orange dust that coats everything and will be covered head to toe in mud.
You may also see other workers with bags of dirt upon their heads. These men and women will haul dirt back and forth from the lakes and rivers to the other workers that are often up to a kilometer away. Many will haul up to 50 bags a day. It’s an intense process that is quite labor intensive, and shows that every gram of gold is hard earned by the artisanal miners in Mozambique.