Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique (RTCM) transported a record breaking Coal in the month of October and scaled up its Coal production capacity.
RTCM, a subsidiary of global mining major Rio Tinto, last week reported to media that it had set a new monthly record for the transport of Coal. Transport was from its Benga mine located in Tete province to the Port of Beira, in Sofala province. The quantity of Coal involved came to 95,000 MT and it was carried by 38 trains, running on the Sena railway lines. The increased amount of Coal dispatched from Benga was the result of “continuing improvements which are introduced on the Sena lines”, RTCM Coal Supply Chain Director Carlos Galego told to media on 28 Nov, 2013.
Earlier towards the end of the October, company reported that it had acquired four new locomotives and 110 wagons to haul Coal from Benga to Beira. Of these, two locomotives and all the wagons had already been delivered, with the remaining two locomotives expected this month. “This new rolling stock is intended to complement the improvements which are being introduced on the Sena line and it will increase the transport capacity for RTCM Coal,” he stated.
The carrying capacity of the 575 km long Sena line is being increased from its current 6.5 MnT per annum to 20 MnT per annum. The whole project is expected to be completed in February 2015.
In addition to the Benga operation, RTCM holds a 65 per cent share (the remaining 35% belonging to Tata Steel of India), which produces both Coking and Thermal Coal, RTCM was awarded a mining license for its wholly owned Zambeze project in August. It also has an exploration license for its 100 per cent held Tete East project. (The Zululand Anthracite Colliery, in South Africa, also falls under RTCM, which holds 74% of the operation.)
Meanwhile in its production report for the Q3 of this year, Brazilian major miner Vale reported that the ramping-up of production at its Moatize mine, in Tete, was being impeded by the limitations of the Sena line and Beira port.
Moatize Phase 1 has a nominal capacity of 11 MnT per annum. Actual output during the Q3 was 1.2 MnT, composed of 706,000 MT of Coking Coal and 462,000 MT of Thermal Coal. This was actually lower than the figure for the second quarter, which was 1.3 MnT (composed of 849,000 MT of Coking Coal and 448,000 MT of Thermal Coal). The decline in metallurgical Coal output in the third quarter, in comparison to the second quarter was 16.8 per cent, but thermal Coal saw a rise of 3.2 per cent. For the first nine months of this year, Moatize metallurgical coal output was 6.4 per cent higher than for the same period last year, while that for thermal coal rose by 23 per cent.
Nevetherless, work continues on the development of Moatize Phase 2, which is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2015. To date, USD 734 million of capital expenditure (capex) has been made for Phase 2, of which USD 278 million was during the first three quarters of this year. Total capex for Phase 2 for this year is programmed to be USD 381 million. The total cost for the complete development of this next phase of Moatize is budgeted at just over USD 2 billion.