VENTURES AFRICA – India’s Jindal Power & Steel started producing coal at its mine in Mozambique this month, with first exports expected by January next year.
Jindal plans to produce and ship 1.3 million tonnes of coal at its mine in Mozambique, ramping up to 10 million tonnes over three to four years, with potential to double that in the future.
This means South Africa’s neighbouring countries like Mozambique and Botswana are beginning to give Africa’s biggest economy a good run for its money when it comes to attracting foreign direct investment.
Investors are beginning to go to these countries for mining projects avoiding South Africa which is plagued by labour unrest and service delivery protests.
Ventures Africa understands that Botswana is now not only focused on diamond mining alone but has diversified into coal and other serious explorations. There is a lot of mining going on there now.
Speaking at an industry conference in Maputo this week, Jindal’s country head, Manoj Gupta, said there were also plans to upgrade the line further to eventually carry up to 18 million tonnes.
Jindal started producing coal at this Mozambican mine this month, with first exports expected by January next year.
“Production has already started. We expect our first shipment in the next few months, possibly by January,” Manoj Gupta told a Coaltrans conference in Maputo. The mine will produce both coking coal and thermal coal.The company’s mine is not linked to the Sena railway line which Vale and Rio Tinto are using to transport coal to the port at Beira, so Jindal plans to use trucks over 100 km (60 miles) to link up with the Sena line, according to Reuters.
The refurbishment of the Sena line to handle 6.5 million tonnes of coal a year has been delayed, forcing Vale to curtail production and exports this year.
Mozambique is a hot new destination for coal producers. However, the poor state of its infrastructure in a country that remains dirt poor despite rapid economic growth in recent years remains an obstacle to developing the industry.