Mozambique: Coal company plans to explore open air mine

22 August 2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 22 Aug – The Minas de Moatize coal company is awaiting approval of an environmental impact study to mine an new open air coal mine in Mozambique’s Tete province, with reserves of 36 million tonnes of coal and an expected lifetime of 20 to 25 years, Mozambican newspaper Notícias reported.

The paper added that the company currently mines the Chipanga XI underground mine in the same province, with estimated reserves of 1.6 million tonnes and an estimated lifetime of 20 years. This mine ensures monthly production of between 4,500 and 5,000 tonnes of coal.

Augusto Antunes, of Minas de Moatize, recently said in Maputo that the exploration project for the new open air mine had already been submitted to the government, having already been approved by the Ministry for Mining Resources and Energy and the national mines directorate.

Antunes also said that of current production, 30 percent was placed on the national market, whilst the remaining 70 percent was sold in the southern African market.

“The business sectors that use the Moatize coal mines are those linked to the sugar manufacturing industry, tobacco and cement. In teh sugar sector we supply coal to Açucareira de Mafambisse, whilst in teh tobacco sector we supply coal to Fábrica de Tabaco de Tete. There are industries in Malawi that would not survive without Mozambican coal, such as the cement industry (clinker),” he said.

The main countries that import coal produced by Minas de Moatize are Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. (macauhub)