Three mining companies in Mozambique in distress

Three coal mining companies in Mozambique’s Tete province are at a standstill or operating part time due to falling prices of raw materials in international markets, Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias reported.

The three companies are, according to the newspaper, the Mozambican subsidiary of Indian consortium International Coal Ventures Private Limited (ICVL) and Jindal Africa, also Indian-owned, and Minas do Moatize, which belonged to British company Beacon Hill Resources, which went bankrupt in 2015.

Falling commodity prices and the slowdown required in coal mining have led these three companies to lay off hundreds of workers, according to information provided to President Filipe Nyusi, during a visit to the region.

Grácio Rosario, provincial director of Mineral Resources and Energy of Tete, said Jindal Africa has brought virtually all mining work to a halt, with only processing, export and administrative services operating.

Jindal Africa, of Indian group Jindal Steel & Power has a concession area of 20,000 hectares valid for 25 years, with an export capacity of 850,000 tons per year.

“All mining companies face the same difficulties, and Vale, for example, has reduced production,” Grácio said.

Coal prices have been declining since 2010, with coke and metallurgical coal falling from US$300 to about US$100 per ton, while thermal coal is currently being sold at about US$60 dollars a ton. (macauhub/MZ)