BRAZILIAN MINING GIANT VALE INCREASES COKING COAL OUTPUT FROM MOATIZE MINE IN MOZAMBIQUE

MAPUTO, Brazilian mining giant Vale says production of coking coal from its open cast mine in Moatize, in the western Mozambican province of Tete, increased by more than 153 per cent in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same period last year.

In 2016, low coal prices forced Vale to make redundant more than 2,000 of its workers in Mozambique. As a result, the Moatize mine only extracted 5.5 million tonnes of coal. With the recent recovery in coal prices on the world market, Vale’s investment in Mozambique now looks like a profitable concern and the company expects to export 11 million tonnes of coal from Mozambique this year.

Key to Vale’s coal being competitive is the Nacala Logistics Corridor, which was formally opened in May. This project includes a 912-kilometre long railway running from Moatize to the new minerals port at Nacala-a-Velha. The corridor’s investment of 4.4 billion US dollars was funded by a consortium formed by Vale, the Japanese multinational Mitsui, and Mozambique’s publicly-owned port and rail company, CFM.

Although the corridor project was formally inaugurated in May, it actually began operating in early 2016. However, the route is being increasingly used and within the next two years the railway and port are projected to reach peak capacity of 18 million tonnes of coal a year.

The competitiveness of Vale’s Mozambique operations was highlighted earlier this month when it was revealed that 70,000 c tonnes of its metallurgical coal is to be shipped from Nacala to Port Kembla in eastern Australia.

The Platts new services noted that the import of Mozambique coal is symbolic because Australia is the largest seaborne exporter of metallurgical coal in the world, the bulk of which is premium hard coking coal, prized for its high Coke Strength after Reaction.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK