Mozambique Coal Industry: Vale announces memorandum of understanding with Japan’s Mitsui on Mine and Logistics assets

Moatize Coal Mine - Vale Mozambique
Moatize Coal Mine – Vale Mozambique

Brazilian mining group Vale has completed negotiations with Japan’s Mitsui & Co. for the sale of part of its mining and logistics assets in Mozambique, the chief executive of Vale Moçambique said Tuesday in Maputo.

Pedro Gutemberg also said the Brazilian group had signed an investment agreement with Mitsui & Co, which includes the sale of 15 percent of the assets of the Brazilian group in the Moatize coal mine, and half of its 70 percent stake in the Nacala Logistics Corridor.

The CEO of Vale Moçambique said Mitsui & Co would only become part of the shareholder structure of the two projects in the second half of 2015 once it meets a list of requirements set out by Vale, which is seeking to capitalise on and complete the investments it is conducting in the country.

One of these requirements, he said, is securing a loan of US$2.7 billion from Japanese banks, of which US$1.7 billion will be invested in work to develop the Nacala Logistics Corridor and US$1billion to pay debt that Vale Moçambique has taken on from its parent company.

In addition to approval by the governments of Mozambique and Malawi, a country that is crossed by the 900-kilometer railway linking Tete province to the deep water port of Nacala-a-Velha, in Nampula province, Mitsui & Co taking a stake in the logistics corridor also requires payment of US$313 million to Vale for half of the 70 percent stake it owns in the consortium in partnership with port and rail company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (30 percent).

By selling a stake to Mitsui, Gutemberg said, Vale wants to ensure that the refurbishment and expansion of the corridor will end next year. Completion of the railway line will make it possible to increase coal transport capacity along Mozambique’s Nacala and Sena railways from 6 to 24 million tons per year.

Over the coming months, and “depending on performance variables such as coal production and prices,” Mitsui and Vale will have to come to an understanding about the amount the Japanese company will pay for 15 percent of the 95 percent stake Vale holds in the Moatize mine, an amount that may vary between US$330 million and US$480 million.

Through this transaction, the CEO of Vale Moçambique said, the company wants to ensure financing capacity in order to double the production capacity of the Moatize mine from 11 million to 22 million tons per year. The Mozambican state owns a 5 percent share of the Moatize mine through state mining company EMEM.

Pedro Gutemberg also said the company intended to sell another 10 percent of its share in the mine to Mozambican investors, which should happen within a year and is a commitment made by Vale to the local authorities.(macauhub agency)

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