MAPUTO, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto says there is a bright future for coal mining in Mozambique.
The Rio Tinto representative in Mozambique, Andrew Woodley, on Wednesday told state media AIM that the market fundamentals and long time price prospects are favorable in the mining sector in the country.
"Although in the short term the overall economic prospect for the coal market is less than ideal, the sector promises a lot," he said.
He added that the Moatize coal basin, in the northern province of Tete, is one of the few coal basins in the world with significant coking coal reserves.
Woodley said Mozambique needed a skilled and locally trained work forces to implement efficient mining practices, so as it can get the most from the booming mining sector.
Rio Tinto's figures indicate that its Mozambican production surged in the second quarter of this year.
The company produced 143,000 tonnes of coking coal and 132,000 tonnes of thermal coal from its open-pit mines at Benga from April to June, surging 28 percent and 21 percent respectively compared to the first quarter.
Woodley said one of the main problems faced by coal companies in Tete is transporting the coal to the central port city of Beira. At present, the company relies on a rail line. But it was often disrupted by derailments linked to line faults.
Mozambican transport and communications minister, Paulo Zucula, told the Mozambican Television that there is investigation underway to address the problem.
The Mozambican Railway Company has initiated an emergency plan to allow traffic to resume as soon as possible.