ABU DHABI, 14th July, 2016 (WAM) — The British-based mining company Savannah Resources announced on Tuesday that it has appointed two new directors to reflect a 1.7 million pound investments made by Al Marjan Limited.

According to Mozambique News Agency, AIM, Savannah has rights to three blocks in the copper-rich Semail Ophiolite Belt in the Sultanate of Oman. Its strategy is centred on building a copper and gold resource with initial production targeted for late 2017.

To further pursue this aim, Maqbool Ali Sultan and Imad Kamal Abdul Redha Sultan have been appointed as Non-Executive Directors. Savannah’s chairman, Matthew King, commented “they will bring a wealth of very relevant expertise to the Board, both in relation to Oman and as a result of their extensive regional and international business experience”.

Maqbool Ali Sultan was Oman’s Minister of Commerce and Industry between 1991 and 2011. During that time he was the chairman of the Oman Oil Company and a member of the executive committee of the Omani state general fund. Imad Kamal Abdul Redha Sultan is a board member of the Oman Arab Bank.

Savannah is also planning to develop a heavy mineral sands project in southern Mozambique in partnership with Rio Tinto. Savannah has a prospecting licence for the Jangamo deposit in Inhambane province, while Rio Tinto has rights over the adjacent prospects of Mutamba and Dongane, along with the Chilubane deposit in Gaza province. The joint project still remains subject to approval by Mozambique’s Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy.

The heavy sands contain ilmenite, rutile, and zircon. Ilmenite and rutile are used to make white pigments for paints, paper, and plastic. Titanium can be extracted from these ores and used to manufacture metallic parts where light weight and high strength are needed. Zircon (zirconium silicate) is used for abrasive and insulating purposes.

Savannah is also developing two lithium mining projects in southern Finland. Lithium has many uses but is particularly in high demand due to its role in modern batteries because of its high electrode potential. The demand is being driven by the growth in electric cars which use lithium batteries to store energy.