The war-damaged
Sena railway line which
is due to re-open
in mid-2009
 
Maputo, Mozambique — MININGREVIEW.COM — 13 October 2008 – Brazilian mining giant Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) expects to start exporting coal from its concession at Moatize, in the western Mozambican province of Tete, in late 2010 or early 2011.

Reporting from here,  allAfrica.com –citing the Mozambique News Agency AIM – quotes CVRD chairperson, Roger Agnelli as saying the company hopes to reach annual coal production of 40 million tonnes at Moatize within a few years.

He pointed out that this year alone CVRD had invested US$130 million (almost R1.2 billion) in Mozambique. Added to the capital invested in previous years, the total CVRD investment in Moatize now exceeded US$250 million (R2.25 billion).

CVRD won the concession in 2004, paying an immediate US$122.8 million (R1.1 billion) for it. The CVRD concession is for 25 years, and the area concerned is reported to contain estimated reserves of 2.5 billion tonnes of coal.

Agnelli said.he had met with the Mozambiquan Transport Ministry to discuss how to move coal exports from Moatize to the country’s ports. The Sena rail line – which runs from Moatize to the port of Beira, a distance of over 600 km – was comprehensively damaged by Renamo forces during the country’s civil war.

AIM reports that the line is now under reconstruction and should be fully open to traffic from mid-2009. However, the Sena line alone cannot handle the huge quantities of coal that CVRD, and the Australian company Riversdale, are looking to export.

Alternatives under consideration include taking the coal by barge down the Zambezi River, and building a new railway across southern Malawi, to link up with the line to the northern Mozambican port of Nacala.