Maputo, Mozambique, 14 Oct – Brazilian company, Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) said Monday it could start extracting coal from the Mozambican mines of Moatize, in Tete province in 2010 or 2011.
The chairman of the company, Roger Agnelli, speaking to journalists in Maputo, said that CVRD had so far invested some US4250 million, with over US$130 million this year alone.
When the company was granted the concession on the Moatize mines in 2004, CVRD had to pay US$123 million for the license, which will last for 25 years.
Agnelli forecast 2010 and 2011 for the start of coal production, which “within a few years” would reach annual production of 40 million tonnes.
Reserves at the Moatize mine are estimated at 2.5 billion tons of coal, making the mine the biggest in the country.
In order to transport the coal from the Moatize mines the Sena railroad is currently being rebuilt, linking the production area to the port of Beira in Sofala province (central Mozambique), and which is expected to start operating as of 2009.
Alternative access routes for transporting the coal are also under consideration, as it will be difficult for the Sena line to ensure transport of the total amount of coal produced.
One of the options is a railroad that will partly run through Malawi and have a terminal at the port of Nacala, in the Mozambican province of Nampula. (macauhub)