Transport infrastructure is “Achilles heel” of mining in Mozambique

4 May 2012

The potential for coal production in the Moatize basin, estimated at 100 million tons per year, will be difficult to achieve due to the lack of transport and distribution infrastructure in the country, according to mining operators cited by Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias.

A working document presented as part of a visit by the Mozambican President to Tete province noted that the “Achilles heel” in achieving those levels of production was that the Sena Railroad, linking Tete to the port of Beira in Sofala province, currently only has capacity to carry 2 million tons of cargo per year.

Although work is underway to increase the capacity of the railroad to 6 million tons per year, the minimum target for the mining companies is to have transport facilities with capacity to carry 20 million tons per year.

The documents shows that operators are waiting for the Nacala Railroad to start operating, which is expected to happen in 2015, so that they can have a transport capacity of 30 million tons per year.

As part of his visit to Tete province, President Armando Guebuza officially opened the Benga mine in the Cahora Bassa district and visited Brazilian company Vale at a unit that is this year expected to export 4.1 million tons of metallurgical coal, which in 2013 is projected to rise to 11 million tons per year. (macauhub)