Mining & Energy
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The Indian consortium International Coal Ventures Limited (ICVL) is to restart mining coking coal at its assets in the western Mozambican province of Tete.
According to a report in the Indian newspaper “The Telegraph” the Chairperson of the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), the country’s largest steel producer, P K Singh, who also heads ICVL, commented that “we have floated a tender for mining coking coal and will be awarding the work soon”.
In 2014, ICVL acquired three concessions from the company Rio Tinto – its 65 per cent stake in the Benga open cast coal mine, and the Zambeze and Tete East projects, all in Tete province.
ICVL had ambitious plans to invest two billion dollars linked to Mozambique’s coal. These include ramping up mining to 13 million tonnes of coal annually, a project to transform coal into liquid fuels, and the construction of a 300-megawatt power station at the Benga mine.
However, in 2015 the company suspended its operations in Mozambique as the international price of coking coal plummeted to below eighty US dollars a tonne. But ICVL is reconsidering its plans now that prices have risen to around 190 dollars for Australian coking coal (FOB).
According to “The Telegraph”, SAIL has “faced huge problems in acquiring good quality coking coal, with the Australian mines jacking up prices”.
The paper quotes Singh as stating that “some 35 per cent of the deposit at our Mozambique mines is coking coal and we intend to have it mined and shipped home”.
The report states that the coal will be shipped out of Macuse. However, it fails to mention that the project to build a railway line from the Moatize coal basin to Macuse on the coast of Zambezia province has not even reached the construction phase.
The 2.7 billion dollar project will require the building of a 500 kilometre long railway and the construction of a new port. Work is expected to begin later this year and is scheduled to be completed in 2021.
In August, ICVL launched a tender for the sale of 140,000 tonnes of thermal coal from Benga to be shipped before 31 October.
ICVL is a joint venture between five Indian state owned concerns, namely the Steel Authority of India Ltd, Coal India Ltd, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), NTPC Ltd and NMDC Ltd. It was set up to acquire coal assets abroad in order to guarantee secure supplies of coking coal for the Indian steel industry. The other stakeholder in the Benga mine is the Indian company Tata Steel.Source: AIM