Vale transported 10 Mt of coal from its open cast Moatize mine to the ports of Beira and Nacala in the first 10 months of this year, more than double the amount over the same period last year.
The company has also completed the Phase 2 expansion of the Moatize mine, including the construction of a second processing plant, which increased its production capacity to 22 Mtpa.
However, Vale’s latest results showed that its profits have fallen. Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation in the third quarter of this year fell 71% quarter-on-quarter to US$46M. Nonetheless, Vale has now recorded four consistent quarters of growth, after previous consistent losses. The average price of its metallurgical coal fell to US$141.80/t, 30% lower than in the previous quarter. Five trains a day currently transport coal from Moatize to Nacala, carrying an average of 7,500t a day for shipment, with Brazil, India and Japan the main three markets. Metallurgical coal has accounted for 58% of total production so far this year and this proportion is expected to increase.
Vale has now switched its coal exports from Beira to Nacala, freeing up capacity on the Sena Railway to Beira for other users. The access channel at Beira is to be dredged at a cost of €25M to allow access for larger coal vessels. The local subsidiary of Van Oord secured the contract following a tender process. The Dutch company will remove about 3M m3 of sediment over six months, doubling the size of vessels the port can handle to 60,000t.
“Reinstating the port access channel to its charted lines and levels is of great importance to facilitate the growing maritime transport in this region,” stated Van Oord.