Partial dredging of Zambezi River, in Mozambique, to cost US$100 million

27 May 2011

Beira, Mozambique, 27 May – Dredging of the Zambezi River to make it possible to transport coal mined in Tete province is expected to cost around US$100 million, an official from Riversdale Moçambique told Mozambican daily newspaper, Diário de Moçambique.

Ivo Lourenço, a community development analyst from the subsidiary of Australian mining group Riversdale Mining said that it would be necessary to dredge the river in several areas totalling some 180 kilometres to ensure that the navigation channel is both deep and wide enough to allow coal to be carried along it in barges.

Riversdale Moçambique, which plans to transport the coal from Benga, in Tete, along the Zambezi River, given the reduced capacity of the Sena Railroad, ordered an environmental impact study, which has yet to be submitted to the Ministry for Coordination of Environmental Action.

A document recently presented by the company in the city of Beira said that the ideal channel for navigating the Zambezi was when at its lowest flow it had a minimum depth of 3 to 3.5 metres. These measurements are based on international standards for moving convoys of river barges and tugs.

Dredging will also be necessary along the sandbank at the entrance to the Chinde estuary in order to maintain enough depth for the barges to set off for cargo transfer locations at sea. (macauhub)