PLANS to boost export coal traffic from the near-mothballed Moatize coalfield will revive rail routes in northern Mozambique. The first phase would see a US$30m upgrading of rail and port facilities at Nacala to handle up to 1000 tonnes an hour. This would help to clear a stockpile of 200000 tonnes at the mines.

The second phase covers rehabilitation of CFM’s Moatize - Beira line at a cost of US$300m, providing the capacity for mining to resume on a regular basis. Preparatory work is due to begin this year. The biggest project will be restoration of the Zambezi bridge at Dona Ana, destroyed in 1986 during the civil war.

A feasibility study is under way for an iron ore smelting plant at Manica in central Mozambique, which would exploit the local Temane gas field. The Beira Iron Project involves bringing between 2·8 and 5million tonnes of ore per year by rail from Zimbabwe’s Buchwa Iron Mining Co and dispatching 2million tonnes of hot briquetted iron to Beira for export to eastern industrial markets. o