Mining giant Rio Tinto said it had begun shipping coal out of Mozambique, starting with 34,000 tonnes of coking coal from its Benga Mine in the Moatize Basin.
The first shipment left the Port of Beira today, bound for an Indian steel mill, the firm said.
Rio Tinto Energy chief executive Doug Ritchie said the shipment was the first step towards the company becoming a significant supplier of hard coking coal to the seaborne market.
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"The Moatize Basin is one of the most prospective coking coal regions in the world," he said.
"We continue to evaluate the most effective means of developing our resources to create value for shareholders and bring benefits to the people of Mozambique."
"We are also continuing to work with the Government of Mozambique to secure the development of comprehensive infrastructure for efficient transport of coal from mine to port, which is a priority for the further development of the region," he added.
The Benga Mine, located in the north of Mozambique, is operated by Rio Tinto and is a joint venture between Rio Tinto, which owns 65%, and Tata Steel, which holds the other third.
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