Coal mining and rail and port infrastructure in Mozambique
Situated in the southeast of Africa, Mozambique is one of the richest countries on the African continent in natural-resource terms. However, its economic development was stalled for three decades from 1964, first by the war of independence from Portugal and then by the civil war.
In December 2014, Mitsui signed a contract with Vale to participate in an enormous investment project in Mozambique. It involves developing the Moatize coal mine together with related rail and port infrastructure for the transport of both coal and general cargo. Mitsui is acquiring a 15% interest in the Vale subsidiary that is developing the Moatize mine and a 50% interest in the Vale subsidiaries developing the infrastructure. The Moatize mine is one of the largest open-cut coal mining projects in the world and has a huge coal reserve that is rich in the hard coking coal used by the steel industry.
Mitsui has been involved in coal mining overseas since the 1960s when it acquired coal mining rights in Australia. Mitsui has cumulatively produced a significant tonnage of high-quality coal in Australia. Recently, Mitsui decided to acquire a new supply source to secure an enhanced, stable supply of coal. With the experience Mitsui has built up over decades in the coal mining, railroad freight and port infrastructure businesses, Mitsui is confident that it can contribute to enhancing the value of the assets in Mozambique.
The coal from this project will become one of Mozambique’s key exports. The 912 km railroad and the port infrastructure is sure to play an important role as key infrastructure for the entire region, assisting in the transport of people and goods, and contributing to the economic development of Mozambique and of neighboring Malawi, which the railroad also crosses.