Work on Benga coal project in Mozambique concludes in September

24 January 2011
Riversdale Mining workers at Benga

Sydney, Australia, 24 Jan – Australian mining group Riversdale Mining said Monday that the facilities to receive and prepare coal at the Benga project in Mozambique’s Tete province, are due to be ready next September as planned.

“The most recent assessment of the project led us to conclude that coal will be available for export via the prot of beira before the end of the current year,” the group said in a statement issued in Sydney.

It is estimated that Benga has coal reserves of 4 billion tons, and analysts believe this is the project that led to the takeover bid of US$3.9 billion launched by Angloa-Australian group Rio Tinto on Riversdale Mining.

Also on Monday, the board of directors of Riversdale Mining, including a representative of Indian group Tata Steel, unanimously supported the offer from Rio Tinto.

The two main shareholders of Riversdale Mining – Tata Steel with 24.2 percent and Brazil’s Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional with 16.29 percent – are steel manufacturers and mainly interested in securing metallurgical coal reserves.

The third big shareholder – Passport Capital – in the last few weeks has been reducing its 15.69 percent stake, indicating that it is preparing to accept Rio Tinto’s offer, which is due to end of 18 February. (macauhub)