Drilling underway at
Rio Tonto’s Benga
coal project in the
Tete province of
Beira, Mozambique — 30 March 2012 – Australian mining giant Rio Tinto has announced the start of detailed exploration in the Benga area of Moatize district, in Mozambique’s Tete province, and the initial samples from the mine are already being processed.

This has been confirmed by Macauhub, citing Mozambican daily newspaper Noticias.

Rio Tinto managing director Eric Finlayson told the newspaper here that the company was in talks with Mozambican port and rail manager Empresa Pública Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique with a view to setting up partnerships to fund construction of a branch-line between the railway station at Moatize and the Benga region by 2015.

The Benga project “’ which fits Rio Tinto’s strategy of acquiring large, long-life and low-cost mining assets “’ will eventually process 20Mtpa of ore and deliver 8Mtpa of saleable coking and thermal coal.

Finlayson added that Rio Tinto was seriously considering investing in integrated transport in the Zambezi valley, in Moatize, as well as in the new port on the coast of Zambézia, in Quelimane.

By 2017 the Benga mine will have a power plant fired by coal slag mined by Rio Tinto, and the power produced there may also supply other parts of the country, he said.

Rio Tinto and Brazilian operator Vale Mozambique, which also operates in Tete, expect to export over 100Mt of coal to India in the next five years.

Source: Noticias, through Macauhub. For further details, click here.