Maputo, Mozambique — 26 June 2012 – Anglo-Australian mining group Rio Tinto has started exporting coal mined at its Benga mine, in the Moatize district of Mozambique’s Tete province, with the departure yesterday of the Genco Loire ship from Beira carrying 35,000t of coking coal.
Macauhub News Agency quotes Mozambican newspaper “Notícias” as reporting that the coal had been carried to the port of Beira along the Sena railroad on 20 trains, which had been transporting coal from Moatize since 27 April.
Rio Tinto Energy chief executive Dough Ritchie said that export of the first consignment of coal “is an important moment for the phased development of our resources such as first quality coking coal in Mozambique.”
The Rio Tinto group has so far invested over US$120 million in this operation in Mozambique, and this year plans to spend a further US$160 million, as well as another US$250 million to relocate people currently living in areas covered by its project.
Due to current infrastructure problems in the Zambezi basin, Rio Tinto is negotiating with state port and rail company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique to build a branch line between the Moatize railway station and the Benga region by 2015.
Five years later – by 2020 – the company expects to be mining an average of 50Mtpa of coal at Benga – a figure which will be dependent on good quality road and rail facilities reaching as far as the production area.
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.
Source: Macauhub News Agency. For more information, click here.