The use of computing systems with some type of parallel architecture has grown significantly over the past few years. Many of the parallel machines that are being used are based on a distributed-memory MIMD architecture. A consequence of this is that the program and its associated data must be distributed between processors so that the communication requirements are minimized. In finite-volume and finite-element methods this leads to the mesh-partitioning problem. In this paper we investigate the application of metaheuristic optimization to the mesh-partitioning problem. We apply and study an ant-colony optimization, which is a relatively new metaheuristic search technique for solving optimization problems.