Mozambican government wants activities to begin in Moatize before end of June

27 March 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 27 March – The Mozambican minister of Natural Resources, Esperança Bias, said Monday in Maputo that she hoped that by June something would be visible in Moatize as part of the area’s coal mining project.

Bias was speaking during the act of handing in the project’s Development Plan by Brazil’s Companhia do Vale do Rio Doce *CVRD) to the Mozambican government. The document contains details of mining operations, investments and social, economic and environmental impacts.

The minister said that the Government would fulfil the established deadlines for the documents to be analyzed, and at the same time would begin discussing the next phase of the mining contract.

“It is our wish that during the first half of this year some visible will begin to happen in the Moatize region,” she said.

In Moatize, the company is in the final phase of the plan to re-house 1,200 families, which is considered the first step for the mining areas to be free of residential areas.

“At the moment we have a team of Mozambicans and Brazilians working on the project,” said the resident director of CVRD-Moçambique, Galib Cham, adding that the schedule that was being presented to the Government states May 2010 as the start of coal production.

The Development Plan confirms that the distribution of coal will be carried out along the Sena railroad, which was currently being refurbished. CVRD is negotiating with the concession-holder of the Sena railroad to transport 12 million tons of coal, as well as opening up the way for other users.

The document handed in to the government contains information on the development of the mine, environmental studies, re-housing action plan, copy of the feasibility study of the mine and of the processing plant, amongst other things.

Construction of the mine is expected to take 36 months and start in May 2007. The first stage will be to develop engineering and infrastructures and the re-housing plan. (macauhub)