Mozambique: Australia’s Riversdale remains focused on coal mining at Moatize

11 February 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 11 Feb – Australian mining company Riversdale is actively continuing with its plans to mine and export coal from the Mozambican province of Tete, said the company’s chief financial officer, Steve Thomas as a conference held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Cited in magazine Mining Weekly, Thomas said that, in full production, the company would export 6 million tonnes of coke per year and 2 million tonnes of coal via the port of Beira, which was likely to occur by the second half of 2010.

The difficulty with such large quantities of coal is transporting it as the Sena railway line, which was totally destroyed in Mozambique’s civil war, will have capacity to transport just 2 million tonne per year when it re-opens this year.

Thomas said that the company was considering the use of barges to transport the coal along the Zambezi river and added that, of the process is found to be viable, this would make it possible to transport large quantities of coal to the port of Beira.

Riversdale is not the only company investing in the Tete coal deposits.

Brazilian mining giant Vale has a concession close to that of Riversdale and also plans to export large quantities of coal and the Central African Mining and Exploration Company (CAMEC) which has a more modest project, plans initially to export 1,.5 million tonnes of coal per year, although it may increase that amount to 15 to 20 million tonnes per year.

Geologist Allan Saad, a CAMEC consultant, said at the same conference that the group would begin transporting coal by truck to Beira and was studying the possibility of building a 450-kilometre railway line. (macauhub)