The government of Timor-Leste has given Elegant Marble Granite Ltd (EMG) of China a contract to mine marble in Manatuto, to the east of Díli, Lusa reports.
The Portuguese news agency quotes a Timorese official, Gualdino da Silva, as saying millions of tonnes of marble are waiting to be extracted in the Laclo region of Timor-Leste
The report says EMG has 18 months to assess the commercial and technical viability of mining marble in Manatuto.
If EMG decides to open a mine, it will give the Timorese government 40 per cent of the profits in its first quarter-century of operation and 45 per cent in the second quarter-century, the report says.
The stone will have value further added in Timor-Leste by being processed there for various uses, Lusa quotes Mr da Silva as saying.