La’o Hamutuk

Bulletin   Surat Popular  Radio Igualdade  Topic index   Reports   Updates
Reference   Presentations  Mission Statement  LH Blog  Search  Home
Mining Projects in Timor-Leste
Projetu Mineiru iha Timor-Leste

 2 July 2024

Contents Konteudu


Experience shows that effective regulation is essential (although not always sufficient) to reduce damage and protect people's rights. Given the intrinsic non-sustainability of mining activities (which use up non-renewable mineral resources in order to provide cash), it is always challenging to minimize their negative impacts.

Timor-Leste began consulting on legislation to regulate mining in 2013. After many delays, Law no 12/2021 of 30 June (Port. original) was enacted, taking effect at the end of 2021. Details of this process are on a separate web page.

In March 2023, Timor-Leste launched its first licensing round for mineral exploration, offering 49 concession areas totalling more than 2,000 square kilometers, with a map and description of the mineral potential of each of seven zones. A special ANPM website contains more information.

In September, the new IX Constitutional Government enacted six decree-laws for the extractive sector, including creation of a National Mining Authority (ANM), separating these responsibilities from the former ANPM, and re-defining the state-owned mining company as Murak Rai Timor, E.P.

Nine companies passed the eligibility screening, and four received contracts (official dispatches) in November 2023, as detailed below. The following week, the three Australian companies who received concessions "worked to build trust."


Estrella Resources (Lautem)

(Blue areas in map at right)

In March 2024, the Government officially awarded three licences to Estrella Resources, an Australian company, to explore for minerals in more than 500 km2 in Lautem municipality. A week later, the company said it had found manganese, which it reiterated in May and June.

On 27 June, Estrella and Murak Rai Timor, E.P. created a joint company, with 70% belonging to Estrella and 30% to MRT.

Estrella Resources (Lautem)

Peak Everest Mining (Lautem)

(Red area in previous map)

The Timor-Leste compaany Peak Everest had a license in 2018 to collect manganese samples in  Nipane and Passabe (Oecusse), but no results have been made public.  It was the only non-Australian company granted a licence in the 2023 bidding round.

Peak Everest Mining (Lautem)

Beacon Minerals (Baucau, Viqueque)

(Yellow areas in map at right)

In April, the Baucau Municipal Authority said it was ready to work with Iron Fortune and Beacon Minerals. Beacon announced it was exploring for copper and other minerals.

Beacon Minerals (Baucau, Viqueque)

Iron Fortune (Baucau, Manatuto, Oecusse)

(Green areas in previous map and map at right)

In April, the Baucau Municipal Authority said it was ready to work with Iron Fortune and Beacon Minerals on mineral exploration. The ANM also licensed Iron Fortune to explore for metals in Oecusse.

Iron Fortune (Baucau, Manatuto, Oecusse)

Murak Rai Timor (Bobonaro, Covalima, Liquica, Lautem)

The state-owned company Murak Rai Timor, E.P. (MRT) was re-created by Decree-Law 64/2023 of 6 September, and its new head José Manuel Gonçalves announced its plans.

In May 2024, the ANP licensed MRT to explore for metallic minerals in Bobonaro, Covalima and Liquica. 

On 27 June 2024, Estrella Resources and MRT created a joint company to explore in Lautem, with 70% belonging to Estrella and 30% to MRT.

Murak Rai Timor (Bobonaro, Covalima, Liquica, Lautem)

Documents and commentary (reverse chronological order)

Dokumentu no komentáriu sira

The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
Rua D. Alberto Ricardo, Bebora, Dili, Timor-Leste
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670-3321040 or +670-77234330
email:  Web:  Facebook