Six companies interested in joining Benga coal project in Mozambique

16 November 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 16 Nov – Six foreign companies have shown interest in being part of the Banga coal project in Mozambique, to be carried out by a consortium made up of Australia´s Riversdale Mining and India’s Tata Steel, according to Mozambican news paper Notícias.

Notícias noted that the information was provided by the director general of the project in an interview with the Reuters news agency, during which Steve Mallyon declines to give the names of the companies interested in the project and said that the selected company would only be announced once the engineering work that was under way had been concluded.

Last April and as a result of further surveying of potential resources at Benga, the availability of coal in the area was set at close to 4 billion tonnes, from which new projections were drawn up pointing to figures of over 20 million tonnes per year, depending on the development of transport infrastructures for distribution of the coal.

Current figures show that the consortium will produce 1.7 million tonnes of metallurgic coal per year and 300,000 tonnes of thermal coal, in the first phase of work that is due to begin in 2011.

In the same interview, Mallyon said that the combination of the complex geological conditions, the existence of out of date information on mining and strict environmental legislation on mining activities could, in the future, become an obstacle to new investors in the sector as they would face high investment costs and longer stages of development.

Last April the Mozambican government authorised a contract for the Benga coal mining project, including exploration, feasibility, development, operations, tax regime and requirements for closing down the mine. (macauhub)