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Vale, the Brazil-based mining multinational, has once more cut its forecast for coal output from its Moatize mine in the interior of Mozambique, to 12 million tons from the previous 15 million.
“As a result of the ongoing implementation of structural changes, coal production guidance was reviewed to approximately 12 Mt in 2018,” the company states in its Production Report for the third quarter of the year, which Lusa has seen.
In May, Vale had said that it projected 2018 output of 15 million tons at Moatize, down from the previous target of 16 million, due to inclement weather.
The company states that its coal division “is reviewing its processes and mine plans to make 2018 the stabilisation year of Moatize”, with steps being taken “to ensure a sustainable ramp-up from 2019 onward.”
Coal exports have in recent years been one of the main drivers of Mozambique’s economy. When Vale last cut its output projections, the minister of economics and finance said that this might lead to a downgrade in forecasts for gross domestic product (GDP).
At present the government is forecasting GDP growth of 4.1% this year, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is saying 3.5% and the World Bank 3.3%.
In the first nine months of 2018, Vale’s coal production in Mozambique was down 2.2% on the same period a year earlier and sales were down 7.2%.
In 2017 as a whole, Vale produced 11.2 million tons in the country, against 5.6 million in 2016.
In May, Márcio Godoy, Vale’s country manager for Mozambique, had said that the company still had work to do to achieve the full export capacity of 18 million tons a year of the Nacala logistics corridor, which comprises a 912-km railway line and the deep-water port at Nacala. Source: Lusa