Maputo, Mozambique — 16 March 2012 – The government of Mozambique may come to accept transporting coal mined in Tete to the coast along the Zambezi River, although it’s current opinion is that it will not be possible to use the waterway for this purpose.
A government source cited by Mozambican state newspaper Notícias confirmed this, but pointed out that the proposal presented by Australian group Riversdale Mining “’ which has subsequently been bought by Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto “’ had very serious environmental consequences that had yet to be resolved, reports Macauhub.
The source added that the government was not opposed to river transport per se, especially as it had some important advantages in that it was cheaper and had fewer risks if done properly. But the source declined to give details of the specific aspects that were of concern to the government in terms of the Zambezi River’s navigability, particularly for coal transport.
Notícias said that one of the problems in Riversdale’s proposal was that it did not provide details of where it would deposit the silt and sand it planned to dredge from the river.
Another no less important point had to do with the water level for navigation of the barges, given that the government planned to build the Mpanda Nkuwa dam downstream of the Cahora Bassa dam. This would hold back some of the water that is currently available for navigating the river to the coast.
Source: Noticias through Macauhub. For further details, click here.