<a href=Rio Tinto” height=”200″ src=”https://www.mining-technology.com/wp-content/uploads/static-progressive/Argyle(3)_rdax.jpg” style=”padding: 10px” title=”Rio Tinto now owns a 65% stake in the joint venture in the Benga Mine.” width=”300″ />

Mining giant Rio Tinto said it has started exporting premium hard coking coal from its Benga Mine in the Moatize Basin, Mozambique.

Rio Tinto Energy chief executive Doug Ritchie said the shipment marks an important point in the phased development of its tier one coking coal resources in Mozambique.

"We continue to evaluate the most effective means of developing our resources to create value for shareholders and bring benefits to the people of Mozambique," said Ritchie.

"We are also continuing to work with The Government of Mozambique to secure the development of comprehensive infrastructure for efficient transport of coal from mine to port, which is a priority for the further development of the region."

The first shipment of 34,000 tonnes, which has left the Port of Beira, is headed for a steel mill in India.

The Benga Mine is a joint venture between Rio Tinto and Tata Steel in which RioTinto holds the majority stake of 65% and India’s Tata Steel owns the remaining interest.

Image: Rio Tinto now owns a 65% stake in the joint venture in the Benga Mine. Photo: Rio Tinto.