Maputo, Mozambique — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 October 2008 – International investors are continuing to submit applications for coal mining licences in Mozambique, but the government has called a halt to the issue of any more licences for coal exploration in the southern African country.
Internet agency allAfrica.com reports that minister of mineral resources Esperanca Bias has told the official Mozambique news agency AIM that investors are still clamouring to submit coal exploration applications.
It adds, however, that the government has ceased to issue such licences, because all the areas in the country’s known coal basins are already occupied. “Since we have no new areas available for coal exploration, we are advising the applicants to enter into partnerships with those companies that already hold licences,” said Bias. “The companies with exploration licences would need partners to provide services,” she added. “The challenge we face now is that we need companies that can provide services, support mining activity, and help with the research and the reports.”
There are now about 40 companies involved in coal exploration and mining in Mozambique, allAfrica.com reports, mostly in the western province of Tete. The Moatize area of Tete is regarded as one of the last great unexplored coal basins on the planet, with billions of tonnes of estimated reserves,” it says.
The high-quality hard coking coal of Moatize has attracted mining giants such as the Companhia Vale do Rio Doce of Brazil and Riversdale of Australia.