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Oil prospecting in the Rovuma basin, district of Palma in northern Mozambique, has confirmed the existence of 170 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, Mozambique’s Minister for Mineral Resources, Esperança Bias said in Pemba.
“That amount puts Mozambique among the 10 countries with the largest reserves of that energy resource,” added the minister, cited by Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias during the opening session of the 24th coordinating council of her ministry.
The two-day meeting, which ended Friday in the provincial capital of Cabo Delgado, served to take stock of oil and gas sector activities over the last five years.
According to the minister, in the period, alongside the discovery of natural gas deposits coal production also began in Moatize, Benga and Changara, all in the province of Tete, in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and to date has produced a total of 2.5 million tons of coal.
In 2013, according to the minister, the sector experienced increased production capacity at the Moma heavy minerals project, from 800 tons per year of ilmenite to 1.2 million tons per year. Alongside this heavy minerals production also began in Angoche district as well as the conversion of the Choipenga XI underground into an open pit mine.
The minister said she was concerned about low coal prices on the international market “that are a major challenge for the development of coal production in Mozambique, added to the need to increase rail transport capacity.”(mchb/MZ)