Consortium approves first stage of Benga coal venture in Mozambique

9 November 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 9 Nov – The consortium developing a US$ 270 million coal mining project at Benga in Mozambique’s Moatize province has approved the first phase of the undertaking, the Noticias newspaper reported.

The consortium comprises Riversdale Mining of Australia, with a 65 percent stake, and India’s Tata Steel, with a 35 percent shareholding. The companies expect to produce 5.3 million tons of coal in the first stage of the joint venture, providing 1.7 million tons of high-quality coking coal and 300,000 tons of export thermal coal.

Riversdale CEO Michael O´Keefe told Noticias approval of the project’s initial phase allows his company to proceed with mining operations in Mozambique. There is great expectation for the venture due to investment involved and its impact on employment, he added.

Work to build the mine will begin before the end of this year after final environmental approval is given.

“We’re committed to bringing the Benga project into first production during the 2010 and we will be supplying world coking coal markets in 2011, initially via our relationship with project partner Tata Steel of India, “ said O’Keefe.

The Indian-Australian joint venture plans to build a thermal power station in Moatize that will come on line in 2013 with a 500 MW generating capacity.

The Benga mining concession is for 25 years. (macauhub)