Maputo, Mozambique — MININGREVIEW.COM — 02 February 2012 – The Mozambican government has announced that for the time being it will not issue any more licences for coal exploration or mining in the country’s western province of Tete.
Cited in the independent news-sheet “Mediafax,” national inspector of mines Afonso Mabica said that the number of licences for the coal sector in Tete had reached its limit. As a result, the government had stopped issuing new licences in mid-2011, although no public announcement to that effect was made at the time.
By then 112 licences had been issued to 45 Mozambican and foreign companies. Most of these were still at an exploratory stage. The only companies that had begun to export coal were Vale of Brazil, and Beacon Hill Resources of Britain.
“Right now, we are concentrating on the licences that have already been granted,” Mabica said. “We are seeing what is happening on the ground, and we are not thinking about granting any more concessions. Tete is already full up,” he added
The refusal to grant new licences comes at a time when companies are still queuing up at the government’s door asking for coal exploration rights. Now it seems that they will have to wait until some of the existing licence holders give up, or seek partners.