Brazil's Vale is set to move its first coking coal shipment next week from its Moatize mine in Mozambique, sources told Reuters on Tuesday. This will be the first coking coal shipment, after 3 thermal coal shipments, and is destined for steelmaker ArcelorMittal's South African unit.
Vale last month approved a $6 billion expansion of Moatize to lift output to 22 million tonnes per year from the 11 million tonnes it expects to mine initially. First production from the expanded mine is forecast for the second half of 2014.
Mozambique's Tete province is believed to hold one of the world's largest untapped coal reserves that has been compared with Australia's coal-rich Bowen Basin. Mozambique suffered a 15-year long civil war that ended in 1992 and remains one of the poorest countries in the world, but the ex-Portuguese colony 7% economic growth this year is forecast to accelerate thanks to mining and infrastructure spending.
Reuters quoted Marcelo Matos, general manager for marketing and sales at Vale's coal unit after the announcement of the expansion: "Moatize is a great alternative to (supply) the growing seaborne market, it's in a very strategic location and there is a lot of interest (for the coal)."