Mozambican government to assess draft of EIS for transporting coal along Zambezi

23 May 2011

Maputo, Mozambique, 23 May – The Mozambican government is due to give its assessment of the environmental impact study (EIS) of the project to transport coal mined by Australian company Riversdale Mining in Tete province via the Zambezi River, according to Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias.

The paper said that the final public consultation meeting to gather suggestions for the EIS had taken place Friday in Maputo. The draft version of the EIS is due to be submitted to the Council of Ministers in June.

Using the Zambezi River to transport coal is being proposed due to the limitations of the Sena railway line, which links the mining area in Tete and the port of Beira, as it cannot transport more than 6 million tons per year, which is considered to be a derisory amount, especially considering that several mining operators plan to use it.

Riversdale Moçambique, Ltd, which has the concession on the Benga reserves, has hired Environment Resources Management Southern Africa, in partnership with Mozambican company Impacto Associados, to carry out the environmental impact studies, the results of which have not brought up significant difficulties.

The coal will be transported on a convoy of up to eight small barges, with no motor, pushed by an appropriate boat, and each barge will be able to carry 2,500 tons of coal.

If its is approved, river transport will reduce the logistical problems of distributing the coal, ahead of building a railway from Moatize, in Tete, to the Northern Corridor to make use of the port of Nacala. (macauhub)