GLOBAL metallurgical coal group Cokal has formed a joint venture to explore coal and develop mines in what is potentially Africa’s major coal producing country.
Cokal executive chairman Peter Lynch says the Brisbane-based company has signed a co-operation agreement with Mozambique government-owned corporation Empresa Moçambicana de Exploração Mineira (EMEM – Mozambique Mining Exploration Company).
“Mozambique is poised to become Africa’s top coking coal producer and a major player in the world coking coal market,” says Lynch.
“This follows the discovery of significant resources and reserves of hard coking coal preceded by major exploration programs by international mining companies including Vale and Riversdale.”
Lynch says the agreement with EMEM will see the exploration tenements in Mozambique for coal mining potential and jointly develop mines and associated facilities.
“This agreement reflects the confidence that Cokal holds in the Mozambique region for high quality coals and a stable and improving operating environment,” he says.
EMEM is a state-owned corporation formed by the Mozambique Government in order to participate in mining projects, undertake exploration and mining development as well as promoting value addition to mineral products.
The formation of EMEM followed recognition by the Mozambique Government that coal was pivotal to the country’s future economic development in the interest of all people.
Cokal CEO Jim Middleton says foreign investors are ‘welcome’ in the Mozambique mining industry.
“The agreement recognises that combining Cokal’s coal exploration and mining expertise with EMEM’s geological knowledge, commercial acumen and local expertise, will be a powerful partnership,” he says.
“Cokal’s partnership now has a team in Mozambique capable of bringing any potential tenements through exploration and into production in a timely manner, while developing local Mozambique expertise and employment in a sustainable way.
“We have the financial backing, the commitment and experience to bring these assets to production. EMEM and Cokal have consistent corporate goals and a compatible set of business values and ethics.”
Cokal also has prospective metallurgical coal projects in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia and recently announced a joint venture to explore for coal in Tanzania.
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