Canada firm abandons Mozambique gold mine project

MAPUTO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Canada's African Queen Mines Ltd AQ.V has abandoned its plans to develop a mine at the historic Braganza gold deposit in Mozambique due to disappointing exploration results and the financial crisis.

African Queen Mines said in a statement received on Tuesday that it plans to relinquish its rights to earn up to 75 percent interest in the Braganza gold mine project in Mozambique’s Manica province to its joint venture partner, Bobcat Mining Ltd.

“Results from Braganza to date simply do not justify further expenditure of time, energy and funds on the part of the company,” Chief Executive Officer, Irwin Olian said.

“It appears that the Portuguese did a very efficient job of mining all of the productive, higher-grade zones at Braganza decades ago.”

The company still has rights to three other gold projects in Mozambique, in the western province of Tete.

African Queen Mines will now focus on its diamond projects in Botswana and Namibia, it said.

“We remain very excited about our diamond projects in Botswana and Namibia, which will be the principal focus of our activities in the coming months,” Olian said.

Reporting by Charles Mangwiro