Diversified mining company Vale said it expects to start production at its Moatize coal mine in Mozambique in late 2011 after spending $300m on its development.

Vale GM finance Fabio Bechara told delegates at the Coaltrans South Africa conference the first box cut for the open case mine would begin in the second quarter of 2011, miningmx.com reports.

The company then intends to ramp up the mine’s Phase One planned full output between 2011 and 2015, the news service said.

The proposed full production target for the initial phase is 2.4 million tonnes per annum of thermal coal for export and 2.5 million tonnes per annum of thermal coal for a local power plant.

The first phase also involves production of 12.7 million tonnes per year of hard coking coal for export.

Moatize is located near Tete in central Mozambique and is 575km from Beira where the Sena/Beira railroad is being renovated to accommodate initial export levels.