Mozambique: Vale Doubles Coal Production

Construction of the standard gauge railway line (file photo).

Maputo — The Brazilian mining company Vale mined about ten million tonnes of coal from its open cast mine at Moatize, in the western Mozambican province of Tete between January and October.

Speaking to reporters visiting the mine, Vale-Mozambique official Rogerio Sendela said the company expects production to reach 13 million tonnes by the end of the year. This would be a 120 per cent increase on the 5.9 million tonnes mined in 2016.

Cited in Tuesday's issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, Sendela said the leap in production was due to the mine's second processing plant, which began operators in late 2016. Vale now has the installed capacity in Moatize to process 22 million tonnes of coal a year (11 million at each of the two processing plants).

Also contributing to the increased production is the railway line from Moatize to the northern port of Nacala-a-Velha, via southern Malawi, which is now fully operational. Vale largely paid for the construction of this line, and has switched all its coal exports from Beira to Nacala-a-Velha. It is thus no longer using the Sena line from Moatize to Beira.

Sendela said the line to Nacala-a-Velha can move 18 million tonnes of coal a year, whereas the Sena line could only carry six million tonnes a year.

Currently five trains a day, each carrying 120 wagons of coal leave from Moatize for Nacala-a-Velha, a journey that takes about 30 hours. Each train carries 7,560 tonnes of coal, which are exported to India, Japan and Brazil, among other markets.

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