Brazil’s Vale do Rio Doce to begin coal mining in Moatize

18 August 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 18 Aug – Companhia do Vale do Rio Doce decided to move ahead with its Moatize coal mining project and has already attributed contracts, said Estevão Rafael, a Mozambique government official.

Rafael, who is part of the committee that analyses Vale do Rio Doce’s feasibility study for the Moatize coal mine and for a port and a transport system for the mine, confirmed that the Brazilian company decided to move ahead with the project and has already attributed at least one contract.

“They are going to move ahead with the project, there is no doubt about that,” Estevão Rafael said.

Vale do Rio Doce attributed a contract to Johannesburg’s Semane Consulting Engineers to design the facilities necessary to process 21 million tons of coal per year in Moatize, said Semane president Joel Mokgohlwa in an interview in Johannesburg.

The Brazilian company may spend as much as US$ 2 billion on the mine, renovating the railway network to the coastline and building portside facilities as well as an electrical power station, said Mokgohlwa, noting that he could not reveal more details because of a confidentiality agreement.

Fernando Thompson, a Vale do Rio Doce spokesperson in Rio de Janeiro, declined comment and said the company will remain silent up until the conclusion of the feasibility study.

Last February, the Mozambican vice-minister for mine resources said that the Brazilian company would start to produce coal in 2007 and that it would export 9 million tons per year.

Moatize will produce metallurgical coal, used in steel making, as well as thermal coal, used in electrical power plants. (macauhub)