Anglo-Australian group Rio Tinto brings coal exports from Mozambique to a standstill

27 June 2013

Anglo-Australian group Rio Tinto has suspended coal exports from Tete province in central Mozambique, due to instability in that region of the country, the group’s Mozambican subsidiary said in a statement.

Hélder Ossemane, the company’s spokesman, cited by the Reuters news agency, said that the board of directors had decided to halt coal transport along the Sena railroad to the port of Beira, “in order to carry out an assessment of the current situation in Mozambique.”

However, Ossemane gave assurances that coal mining would continue at Benga, near the city of Tete.

Brazilian group Vale, which is investing billions of dollars in building a logistics network linking Moatize to Nacala, said in a statement that it would continue to transport coal along the Sena railroad although it planned to increase security.

Last week, opposition party Renamo threatened to prevent travel in the centre of the country and since then there have been attacks on trucks and buses in the region.

A few days ago some carriages of a train travelling on the Sena railway were derailed, but state port and rail management company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique played down the occurrence noting that travel along the line had not been interrupted. (macauhub)