Indian public-owned consortium, International Coal Ventures Limited (ICVL) has invested $2 billion in Mozambique’s mining sector, including the construction of a power generation plant.

“The amount includes a project to transform coking into liquid fuels, in addition to mining within three years of 13 million tons of coal annually,” said Director-General of ICVL Mozambique, Nirmal Chandra Jha.

ICVL was formed as a special purpose vehicle for Indian state-owned steel companies, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the largest producer of iron ore, National Mineral Development Corporation Ltd and Coal India with a registered capital of $1. 62 billion.

Last year, the consortium acquired three coal mines in Mozambique’s Tete province from mining giant Rio Tinto group for over $50 million. Rio Tinto used to control 100 percent of Zambeze and Tete Oriental coal mines and 65 percent in Benga mine in Tete province.

There are large mineral deposits, in Mozambique but exploration has been constrained by the civil war (1977–1992) and poor infrastructure.

Mining sector in Mozambique contributes less than 5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The southern African nation exported its first batch of coal in 2011 and expects to become the world’s largest coal exporter. It is also spending about $50 billion in infrastructure projects to access its coal reserves.

By George Mpofu

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