Concession areas and mineral potential

Based on the available technical data the area for metallic and minerals other than construction materials are divided into 7 zones. The following is a brief summary of each zone, and its mineral potential.

Zone A

Size: 1,114.65 square kilometres;

Number of concession areas: 9;

Minerals: gold, chromium, manganese, iron sand, limestone, and marble.

Zone B

Size: 2,880 square kilometres;

Number of concession areas: 11;

Minerals: copper, manganese, chromium, zinc, gold, silver,gypsum, limestone, marble, dolerite, and basalt.

Zone C

Size: 3,716 square kilometres;

Number of concession areas: 11;

Minerals: chromite, manganese, gold, copper, bentonite, limestone, marble, and some clay minerals.

Zone D

Size: 1,593 square kilometres;

Number of concession areas: 5;

Minerals: gold, copper, manganese, clay, limestone, and potential bentonite, marble, and gabbro.

Zone E

Size: 1,431 square kilometres;

Number of concession areas: 5;

Minerals: gold, copper,  limestone, and potential marble, dolomite, and bentonite.

Zone F

Size: 116 square kilometres;

Number of concession areas: 1;

Minerals: gold, silver, manganese, limestones, and potential kaolin.

Zone G

Size: 814 square kilometres;

Number of concession areas: 7;

Minerals: gold, copper, manganese, gypsum, bentonite, and limestone.

For more information on the concession areas and mineral potential, visit: and, respectively.


Timor-Leste, a nation nestled in Southeast Asia, possesses vast untapped mineral resources that hold immense potential for its economic growth and development. With its rich deposits of the aforementioned minerals, the country is attracting attention from domestic and international investors eager to participate in its mineral sector. Timor-Leste recognizes the importance of harnessing these resources responsibly and sustainably, which has led to the implementation of a robust minerals tender. This tender serves as a gateway to lucrative opportunities, inviting investors to contribute their expertise, capital, and technology to unlock the nation’s mineral wealth.

The minerals tender in Timor-Leste is not merely about profit-seeking; it is driven by a broader vision of promoting sustainable development and ensuring the long-term well-being of its people. By attracting reputable companies that adhere to strict environmental and social standards, Timor-Leste aims to foster responsible resource extraction that minimizes ecological impact and maximizes the benefits for local communities.

Transparency and good governance are the cornerstones of Timor-Leste’s minerals tendering process. The government has taken great care to establish a fair and accountable system that provides equal opportunities for all interested investors. Through comprehensive guidelines, regulations, and evaluation criteria, the tender process ensures transparency and integrity, instilling confidence among potential bidders.

Furthermore, Timor-Leste’s minerals tender goes beyond short-term gains; it prioritizes long-term socioeconomic benefits for the nation. The government actively encourages partnerships with local stakeholders, aiming to build local capacity and empower communities. By nurturing skills development, knowledge transfer, and employment opportunities, this tender contributes to the growth of a skilled workforce and the creation of sustainable livelihoods.

Through the implementation of a responsible and transparent minerals tender, Timor-Leste seeks to strike a delicate balance between economic prosperity and environmental stewardship. By attracting investments that align with the nation’s sustainable development goals, Timor-Leste is poised to transform its mineral sector into a catalyst for inclusive growth, infrastructure development, and poverty reduction.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the significance of Timor-Leste’s first minerals tender, exploring the principles of responsible resource extraction, the benefits it offers, and the potential long-term impact on the nation’s economy and communities.

Driving economic growth and diversification

Timor-Leste’s minerals tender plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth and diversification by attracting domestic and international investments to the country’s mineral sector. The successful exploration and extraction of mineral resources have the potential to significantly contribute to the nation’s GDP and create new avenues for revenue generation.

Through the minerals tender, Timor-Leste aims to leverage its mineral wealth to reduce dependence on traditional sectors and foster economic diversification. By attracting investments from reputable mining companies, the country can tap into their technological expertise, financial resources, and industry knowledge, which can drive innovation and efficiency in the sector.

The mineral sector offers a wide range of opportunities for economic growth. It stimulates job creation, both directly in mining operations and indirectly through ancillary industries and support services. This influx of employment opportunities improves livelihoods, reduces unemployment rates, and contributes to poverty reduction in local communities.

Moreover, the revenue generated from mineral extraction can be reinvested into infrastructure development, education, healthcare, and other key sectors, fostering sustainable socioeconomic development across the country. Timor-Leste can utilize mineral revenues to address critical infrastructure gaps, enhance public services, and improve the overall standard of living for its citizens.

By diversifying its economy through mineral extraction, Timor-Leste can reduce its reliance on volatile commodity markets and create a more resilient economic foundation. This diversification can help buffer against external shocks and contribute to long-term economic stability.

Furthermore, the minerals tender provides opportunities for local businesses to participate in the supply chain and value-adding activities associated with the mining industry. This engagement of local companies can stimulate entrepreneurship, promote the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises, and enhance the overall business ecosystem in the country.

In summary, Timor-Leste’s minerals tender is a key catalyst for driving economic growth and diversification. By attracting investments, creating job opportunities, and generating revenue, the mineral sector can serve as an engine for sustainable development, contributing to the country’s overall economic well-being and enhancing the quality of life for its citizens.

Promoting responsible resource extraction

Timor-Leste is committed to promoting responsible resource extraction practices within its mineral sector. The government recognizes the importance of minimizing environmental impact, respecting local communities, and ensuring the sustainable utilization of the country’s mineral resources. The minerals tender in Timor-Leste serves as a platform to enforce and encourage responsible practices among mining companies operating within its borders.

Environmental conservation: Timor-Leste places a strong emphasis on environmental conservation in its mineral extraction activities. Mining companies participating in this tender are required to demonstrate their commitment to mitigating environmental risks and adhering to strict environmental regulations. This includes implementing robust environmental impact assessments, adopting environmentally friendly mining techniques, and implementing reclamation plans to restore the land to its natural state post-mining operations.

Community engagement: The minerals tender also prioritizes community engagement and consultation throughout the mining process. Companies are expected to engage with local communities, listen to their concerns, and actively involve them in decision-making processes. This participatory approach ensures that the benefits and potential negative impacts of mining activities are understood, and local perspectives are taken into account.

Social responsibility: Responsible resource extraction involves prioritizing the social well-being of local communities. Mining companies are encouraged to contribute to local development initiatives, such as investing in infrastructure, education, healthcare, and skills training programs. This focus on social responsibility aims to ensure that the communities affected by mining activities also benefit from the resources extracted.

Transparency and accountability: Timor-Leste’s minerals tender promotes transparency and accountability by establishing clear guidelines and regulations for mining companies to follow. The tender process includes criteria that evaluate the track record and commitment of companies to responsible mining practices. By holding mining companies accountable for their actions and promoting transparency in the sector, Timor-Leste aims to prevent illegal mining activities, promote fair competition, and protect the rights of all stakeholders involved.

Legal compliance: The minerals tender requires companies to adhere to all relevant laws, regulations, and international standards governing mining activities. This ensures that mining operations are conducted in compliance with labor laws, human rights standards, and environmental regulations. Companies are expected to demonstrate their commitment to upholding ethical practices and ensuring the safety and well-being of their workers.

Through these measures, Timor-Leste aims to promote responsible resource extraction practices that minimize negative environmental and social impacts. By prioritizing environmental conservation, community engagement, social responsibility, transparency, and legal compliance, the minerals tender plays a vital role in ensuring that the country’s mineral resources are harnessed in a sustainable manner for the benefit of present and future generations.

Enhancing transparency and governance

Transparency and good governance are essential principles that underpin Timor-Leste’s mineral tendering process. The government is dedicated to establishing a system that ensures fairness, accountability, and equal opportunities for all participants in the mineral sector. Through various measures, Timor-Leste seeks to enhance transparency and governance in its minerals tender.

Clear guidelines and regulations: Timor-Leste has developed comprehensive guidelines and regulations that govern the mineral tendering process. These guidelines outline the criteria, procedures, and timelines for the submission and evaluation of bids. By providing clear and transparent guidelines, the government sets the expectations and standards for all participants, ensuring a level playing field.

Open and competitive bidding process: The mineral tendering process in Timor-Leste follows an open and competitive approach. The government invites interested companies, both domestic and international, to participate in the bidding process. The tenders are widely publicized, allowing all eligible companies to have equal access to information and opportunities. This transparency fosters healthy competition and encourages companies to put forth their best proposals.

Impartial evaluation: To ensure fairness, the evaluation of bids is conducted through an impartial process. The government employs a rigorous evaluation system that assesses the proposals based on predefined criteria, such as technical expertise, financial capabilities, and environmental and social considerations. This impartial evaluation process ensures that bids are evaluated objectively, and decisions are made based on merit.

Accountability and anti-corruption measures: Timor-Leste takes proactive steps to combat corruption and promote accountability in the mineral tendering process. The government has implemented robust measures to prevent corruption, including the establishment of anti-corruption bodies and strict adherence to integrity and ethics standards. These measures safeguard the integrity of the tendering process and build trust among investors and stakeholders.

Public disclosure of information: Timor-Leste recognizes the importance of providing access to information related to the minerals tender. Through the official mineral tender portal and other channels, the government ensures that relevant information, including tender announcements, bidding documents, and evaluation results, is publicly disclosed. This transparency allows interested parties to stay informed, monitor the process, and raise any concerns or questions.

Stakeholder engagement: Timor-Leste actively engages with stakeholders throughout the mineral tendering process. This includes consultations with local communities, civil society organizations, and other relevant stakeholders. Their input and feedback are considered in decision-making processes, ensuring that the tendering process aligns with the needs and aspirations of the country and its people.

By enhancing transparency and governance in its minerals tender, Timor-Leste promotes accountability, integrity, and public trust in the sector. These measures contribute to a more robust and credible tendering process, attracting reputable investors, and creating an enabling environment for sustainable and responsible mineral extraction.

Local capacity building and empowerment

In Timor-Leste’s mineral sector, local capacity building and empowerment are key priorities in the mineral tendering process. The government recognizes the importance of ensuring that the benefits of mineral extraction extend beyond financial gains and are shared with local communities. Through various initiatives, Timor-Leste aims to build the capacity of local stakeholders and empower them to actively participate in the mineral sector.

Skills development and training: The government emphasizes the importance of skills development and training programs to enhance the capabilities of the local workforce. Through partnerships with mining companies, vocational training institutions, and other relevant stakeholders, Timor-Leste provides training opportunities in areas such as mining operations, safety protocols, environmental management, and technical skills. These programs empower individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue employment in the mineral sector.

Knowledge transfer: Timor-Leste promotes knowledge transfer from international mining companies to local stakeholders. Partnerships between mining companies and local communities facilitate the sharing of technical expertise, best practices, and innovative approaches. This knowledge transfer enables local stakeholders to acquire valuable insights and build their capacity to engage effectively in the mineral sector.

Business development support: The government encourages the growth of local businesses and entrepreneurship within the mineral sector. Local companies are provided with support and resources to participate in the supply chain and value-adding activities associated with mining operations. This support includes access to finance, business development services, and mentorship programs. By fostering the growth of local businesses, Timor-Leste aims to create economic opportunities, generate employment, and enhance the overall business ecosystem.

Partnerships and engagement: Timor-Leste actively seeks partnerships and collaborations between mining companies and local communities. These partnerships go beyond mere financial benefits and focus on meaningful engagement, consultation, and collaboration. By involving local stakeholders in decision-making processes, their perspectives, needs, and aspirations are taken into account, ensuring that the benefits of mineral extraction align with local priorities.

Community development programs: The government encourages mining companies to contribute to community development initiatives. This may involve investing in social infrastructure projects, supporting education and healthcare programs, and promoting initiatives that enhance the well-being of local communities. By addressing social needs and improving the quality of life in mining-affected areas, Timor-Leste seeks to create a sense of ownership and shared prosperity among local communities.

By focusing on local capacity building and empowerment, Timor-Leste aims to maximize the positive impacts of mineral extraction on local communities. These initiatives create opportunities for employment, skills development, entrepreneurship, and community development. Ultimately, local capacity building and empowerment contribute to sustainable socioeconomic development, enhance social cohesion, and ensure that the benefits of mineral extraction are harnessed for the long-term well-being of the country and its people.

Maximizing socioeconomic benefits

Timor-Leste recognizes the potential of its mineral resources to drive socioeconomic development and improve the well-being of its people. The mineral tendering process is designed to maximize the socioeconomic benefits derived from mineral extraction and ensure that these benefits are distributed equitably across society. Here are some key aspects of how Timor-Leste aims to achieve this goal:

Job creation and employment: Mineral extraction projects have the potential to create significant employment opportunities. Timor-Leste’s minerals tender prioritizes job creation, both directly in mining operations and indirectly through ancillary industries and support services. By attracting investments and engaging local workers, the mineral sector becomes a source of employment and income generation for the local population. This not only improves livelihoods but also reduces unemployment rates and contributes to poverty reduction.

Revenue generation: The minerals tender in Timor-Leste plays a crucial role in generating revenue for the government. The revenue generated from mineral extraction can be used to fund critical development projects, such as infrastructure development, education, healthcare, and social welfare programs. By effectively managing and investing these revenues, the government can create a sustainable source of funding to support socioeconomic development initiatives across the country.

Infrastructure development: The mineral sector presents an opportunity to catalyze infrastructure development. The revenue generated from mineral extraction can be channeled into building and improving infrastructure, including roads, ports, power supply, and telecommunications networks. Enhanced infrastructure not only facilitates mining operations but also benefits surrounding communities, improves connectivity, and opens up opportunities for other economic sectors.

Local procurement and supply chain development: Timor-Leste encourages mining companies to prioritize local procurement, creating opportunities for local businesses to participate in the supply chain. This includes providing goods, services, and equipment required for mining operations. By fostering local procurement, the mineral sector stimulates entrepreneurship, creates business opportunities for local companies, and generates economic spin-offs that benefit the broader community.

Skills development and knowledge transfer: The mineral sector offers opportunities for skills development and knowledge transfer. Timor-Leste promotes partnerships between mining companies and local stakeholders to facilitate the transfer of technical expertise, industry knowledge, and best practices. This enables local workers and businesses to acquire new skills, improve their capabilities, and enhance their competitiveness, creating a more skilled workforce and supporting long-term socioeconomic growth.

Social investment and community development: The minerals tender in Timor-Leste encourage mining companies to invest in social development programs that benefit local communities. These investments may include supporting education initiatives, healthcare services, community infrastructure, and cultural preservation. By addressing social needs and promoting community development, the mineral sector becomes a catalyst for inclusive growth, improving the quality of life for local communities.

By maximizing socioeconomic benefits, Timor-Leste aims to create a positive and sustainable impact on its society. Through job creation, revenue generation, infrastructure development, local procurement, skills development, and social investment, the mineral sector becomes a driver of economic growth, poverty reduction, and overall societal well-being.

Moving Forward

Timor-Leste’s mineral tenders, as well as other energy-related topics, will be discussed during IN-VR’s 5th Timor-Leste Energy & Mining Summit 2023, which will take place in Dili in October 2023. During the Summit, national and international participants will be able to network and further learn from existing opportunities that are shaping the island’s energy and mining landscape, especially in regards to the upcoming tender. For more information on Timor-Leste’s first minerals tender and the complete tendering process, visit:

About the Author: Felipe Gaitán Michelsen