Planning underway for rail and port access in Mozambique
Riversdale Mining has formally commenced planning for the transport of future production from its prospective coal mining operations in Mozambique with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for rail access and transportation and a separate MOU for access to port facilities at Beira.The resulting agreements and completed infrastructure will provide Riversdale with the ability to transport export quality coking coal and thermal coal via rail from Moatize to Beira by 2010 and will ensure access to key export markets, including India, via new port infrastructure. Riversdale Executive Chairman and CEO, Michael O’Keeffe said the signing of the MOU’s was a significant development, and the resulting agreements will have a material impact on the value of the company’s coal licences in Mozambique. “Access to rail and port infrastructure is an important component of the project development in the Moatize area, and these MOU’s represent the critical first steps to securing this,” Mr O’Keeffe said. The MOU covering railway construction and access is between Companhia dos Caminhos de Ferro da Beira, SARL (CCFB), and Riversdale, represented in Mozambique through its subsidiary Riversdale Moçambique Limitada.CCFB is currently rehabilitating the railway line, which is expected to be operational from mid-2009. The MOU will allow both parties to complete negotiations regarding a service agreement that will involve CCFB transporting coal from Moatize to Beira port for Riversdale, including construction of a rail spur linking the Riversdale rail siding to the end of the main Sena line at Moatize. Riversdale has also entered into an MOU relating to access through port facilities at Beira with CFM. This second and separate MOU provides for the negotiation of an agreement that will see CFM construct a public port in Beira. This port will be made available to Riversdale and other coal producers to export coal on commercial terms. “We can now proceed with negotiations on the terms and conditions for agreements to ensure infrastructure access for coal exports on commercial terms, which can be done in advance of our planned mining operations,” Mr O’Keeffe said.