Another derailment on
the Sena railway line
Maputo, Mozambique — 01 March 2013 – Mozambican minister of mineral resources Esperanca Bias has announced that the country’s mining industry produced 4.9Mt of coal in 2012, which is an all-time record in the history of Mozambican mining.

Speaking at the opening of a seminar on the management of revenue and the optimisation of benefits from coal and natural gas, Bias said that to date the Mozambican government had signed four coal concession contracts. Three companies were extracting and exporting coal – Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto, Vale of Brazil, and, on a much smaller scale, London-based Beacon Hill Resources, reports

She added that the number of contracts with coal mining companies would increase soon, and that she was optimistic that by 2020 that country would be mining 50Mt of coking and thermal coal a year. Mozambique, she said, could become one of the world’s five largest exporters of coking coal.

The minister pointed out that over the past five years more than US$5 billion had been invested in Mozambican coal. As a result of the exploration, the country’s coal reserves were estimated at more than 20 billion tonnes. The largest known reserves were in the Tete province, particularly in the Moatize basin, but there were also coal fields in Manica and Niassa.

Bias recognised that the main obstacle facing the Mozambican mining industry was the lack of transport infrastructure. This was shown earlier this month when torrential rains and flooding in the Tete district of Mutarara washed away the ballast and earthworks on part of the Sena line, leaving the tracks dangling in mid-air, and forcing a halt to all rail traffic. Frequent derailments were also a problem.

It’s now been announced that the track will be out of action for at least seven weeks.

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