Mozambique Benga Project to Begin Coal Exports

Australian miner Riversdale is planning to start coal exports from its Benga coal project in the Tete Province in Mozambique in the second quarter of 2011, following a feasibility study.

The study was based on estimated coal reserves totalling 273.3 million tonnes and coal resources of four billion tonnes.

The study will be sent for review to Tata Steel, owner of 35% of the project, after which the companies are expected to form a joint venture to develop the project.

The study proposed three principal stages of project development, with the initial stage of development expected to produce about 1.7 Mt/y of coking coal and 0.3 Mt/y of export thermal coal.

The first stage is expected to start in early 2011 and cost $260m.

Stage two expansion will include installation of a second module of the coal preparation plant to improve the production to 3.3 Mt/y of coking coal and 2 Mt/y export thermal coal.

The second stage is due to commence after 2014 and cost about $150m, Riversdale said.

The final stage involves the installation of two additional coal preparation plant modules which will further expand the production, Riversdale said in a statement.