Mozambique: Phosphate Viability Study Nearing Conclusion

Maputo — The viability study ordered by the Brazilian mining giant Vale on exploiting the phosphate deposits in Monapo district, in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula, is nearing conclusion, and will soon be in a fit state to present to the Mozambican government, according to Ricardo Saad, general manager of Vale-Mozambique, cited in Monday's issue of the independent daily "O Pais".

The phosphate project involves investment of 40 million US dollars. 20 million dollars has already been spent on drilling, laboratory tests, pre-viability and environmental studies, and public consultation.

The mining area, 130 kilometres from Nampula city, is believed to contain 42 million tonnes of phosphates. The mining concession has been granted to Vale for 30 years.

The Vale project includes using the phosphate in a fertilizer factory to be built in the coastal district of Nacala-a-Velha.

This is also where Vale is building a new coal terminal to handle exports of the coal mined by Vale in the Moatize coal basin, in the western province of Tete. These exports also require a 912 kilometre railway from Moatize to Nacala-a-Velha. Two stretches of this line at either end will be entirely new, while the rest depends on upgrading the existing Mozambican and Malawian lines.

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