Official Government Wires

Maputo, 22 Jun (AIM) - The Mozambican government is seeking a 1.5 billion US dollar loan from China for the construction of a deep water port in the district of Nacala-a-Velha, in the northern province of Nampula.

Planning and Development Minister Aiuba Cuereneia said in an interview with the public television station, TVM, that the new port will have the capacity to handle over 20 million tonnes of cargo per year.

"A team of Mozambican experts is already in China to negotiate the project. The Mozambican government intends to build a railway line from Moatize to Nacala, a steel mill and a new port at Nacala-a-Velha", explained the Minister.

He stressed that this is a government initiative with financial support from the China Development Bank, one of the largest banking institutions in the world.

The Minister promised that the project will not clash with a similar project by the Brazilian mining giant Vale.

Vale is investing over five billion dollars on building a deep water port at Nacala. The project includes opening a railway link with the Moatize coal basin, in the western province of Tete, where it has a major mining operation. The rail route will have the capacity to carry between 18 and 30 million tonnes of coal per annum by 2015.

The minister stressed that "we cannot talk about clashing projects. Investors are well acquainted and talk to each other. These projects will complement what is being done both in Nacala and elsewhere in the country".

The government project includes the construction of an integrated port consisting of industrial terminals and a 700 to 800 kilometre long railway line to Moatize.

Mozambique has huge coal reserves in Tete province. However, it does not have the capacity to move the coal to port for exporting in the quantities that will be required within the next few years.

At present, coal is moved along the Sena railway line to the port of Beira. However, once repairs to the line have been completed it will still only have the capacity to transport six and a half million tonnes of coal per year. Expanding the line will increase the capacity to twenty million tonnes, but this is still nowhere near enough for all the mine projects that are being developed.


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London, 22 Jun (AIM) - The Australian mining company Triton Gold is to buy five prospecting licences for graphite in the northern province of Cabo Delgado from the Mozambican company Grafex.

Over a four year period Triton will gain up to eighty per cent of the graphite projects through spending 1.5 million Australian dollars on development and on cash payments to Grafex. In addition, Grafex will receive fifteen million Triton shares and the right to buy, over the next three years, a further ten million shares at a cost of five cents.

Triton plans to sell five million shares at ten cents to raise funds for carrying out the prospecting (however its share price is currently less than eight cents on the Australian stock exchange).

Grafex has three prospecting licences in Ancuabe, near Pemba, which surround the Ancuabe Graphite Mine and lie next to the licences held by the German multinational Graphit Kropfmuhl.

Graphite was mined in Ancuabe between 1992 and 1999, but operations were suspended due to the high cost of running electricity generators. However, the situation changed two years ago with the expansion of the national electricity grid.

Grafex also holds two licences at Balama, near Montepuez, which lie to the north of the licence held by Syrah Resources.

The agreement is subject to a due diligence report that will take four months.


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Maputo, 22 Jun (AIM) - The Mozambican government is planning to build a new cashew research centre in the northern province of Nampula to boost production across the country, reports the daily newspaper "Diario de Mocambique".

According to the director of the government's National Cashew Institute (INCAJU), Filomena Maiopue, the centre will focus its research on the entire production chain in coordination with the Mozambican government's Agricultural Research Institute (IIAM).

Speaking on the sidelines of INCAJU's national planning meeting, held recently in the district of Dondo in the central province of Sofala, Maiopue explained that a Tanzanian consultant has already visited Mozambique to identify the requirements for the installation of the research centre.

Maiopue pointed out that "we have just had a very bad year. If we want to develop the cashew sub-sector we must invest in restructuring the research component to discover new varieties of cashew trees that are more profitable and suitable for the country's climate".

The institute will also look at new export markets to reduce the dependence on India, which is the dominant export destination.

The meeting also recommended using national experts to support the development of nurseries to cultivate cashew seedlings for the 2012/13 season and to support cashew nut processing.

INCAJU intends to grow three million cashew seedlings to be distributed among peasant farmers.

The planning meeting received a report which stated that cashew nut production fell in the 2011/2012 agricultural season to the lowest level in the last ten years.

Production only reached 64,000 tonnes, down from the 113,000 tonnes reported in the previous year, which was a peak for cashew production.

Maiopue attributed the decline to the year on year natural variations of the cashew tree.

Cashew is one of the major sources of hard currency for the country. Official figures reveal that the value of cashew exports rose from 13.7 million US dollars in 2000 to 39.5 million dollars in 2010.


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By Gustavo Mavie

Rio de Janeiro, 22 Jun (AIM) - Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Thursday launched a roadmap that the Mozambican government and people will use as a guide for building a green economy. This will be based on a sustainable defence of the environment for the benefit of present and future generations.

The plan covers national strategies to apply green economy principles to the development of the country's cities, agriculture and energy resources.

The President is attending the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development which is taking place in the Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro. The summit is more commonly known as Rio+20. This is in recognition of the meeting held here twenty years ago which adopted a series of measures aimed at supporting sustainable development whilst protecting the environment.

He noted that the survival of people today and tomorrow depends on a healthy environment, the destruction of which would be a crime that future generations would never forgive.

The President stressed that the defence and maintenance of the environment is both an ethical duty and moral obligation, with it being imperative that all Mozambicans and citizens of the planet play their part.

He explained that Mozambique is more determined than ever to contribute to the pursuit of a green economy in each and every country in the world.

President Guebuza argued that the environment will only be saved if it is not only defended but also regenerated wherever possible.

He highlighted the importance of the campaign launched in Mozambique after he took over as President under which every school student plants a tree and every leader plants a forest.

The launching of Mozambique's roadmap to a green economy is seen as proof that the country is moving from words to deeds.

The roadmap received a very warm welcome from the president of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, who praised President Guebuza's outstanding leadership and visionary thinking. He noted that Mozambique is one of the countries redefining the growth process from an African perspective.

President Guebuza's leadership in developing the green economy roadmap was also applauded by the head of WWF, Jim Leape.

As a result of the new initiative, the Mozambican state budget will include an environmental component to fund the roadmap's implementation.

Environmental situation declines

The Rio+20 summit comes at a time when global carbon emissions have been found to be far higher than previously feared.

According to "The Guardian" newspaper, global carbon emissions are up 48 per cent on 1992, when the original summit took place in Rio. The newspaper quoted figures from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) which states that in 2010 the world emitted a record breaking 31.8bn tonnes of carbon from energy consumption.

According to the newspaper, "increases in fossil fuel use of this magnitude are likely to carry the world far beyond the temperature rise of two degrees centigrade by 2050 that scientists have estimated is the limit of safety, beyond which climate change is likely to become catastrophic and irreversible".

The figures also show that China, which in 2006 took over the top spot as the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide from energy consumption, has increased emissions by 240 per cent since 1992 and now accounts for a quarter of all carbon emissions from energy.

The growing crisis was acknowledged by the Secretary General of the United Nations on Wednesday.

Referring to progress over the last twenty years, Ban Ki-moon said, "let me be frank: our efforts have not lived up to the measure of the challenge".

The UN leader stressed, "let us not forget the scarcest resource of all: that is time. We are running out of time. We no longer have the luxury to defer difficult decisions. We have a common responsibility to act in a common cause, to set aside narrow national interests in the name of the global public good and the betterment of all".

Over a hundred heads of state are present at the summit. However, conspicuous by their absence are United States President Barack Obama, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel.


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By John Hughes

London, 22 Jun (AIM) - The London based Overseas Development Institute (ODI) on Thursday warned that economies in Africa face a decline in investment, trade and aid as a result of the economic crisis in the euro zone.

According an analysis by the ODI, the developing world faces a loss in output of 238 billion US dollars during 2012 and 2013 because of the deepening crisis in the euro area. It calculates that this will cause a drop of half a per cent in the growth in poor developing countries, with Mozambique one of the most at risk nations.

The report's author Dr Isabella Massa explained that "there are three broad ways in which the euro zone crisis will affect developing countries - through financial contagion, as a knock-on effect of fiscal consolidation in Europe to meet austerity needs, and through a drop in the value of currencies pegged to the euro".

The report found that "Mozambique is among the most vulnerable countries owing to its high dependence on euro zone trade flows and cross-border bank lending from European banks. It is also highly dependent on aid and has a significant fiscal deficit which has worsened since the global financial crisis".

The ODI expects EU aid to Mozambique to be largely static, and that "any future change in aid volume or modalities is more likely to be the result of ongoing policy re-orientations among donors or their concerns on governance and the implementation of the poverty reduction plan than a direct impact of the sovereign debt and banking crisis".

However, the ODI also states that Portugal has reduced its economic ties with Mozambique, which includes public investments.

On the other hand, the report states that Mozambique has achieved solid growth rates based on rising mining output and strong global demand for minerals, including aluminium. It expects the country's bilateral exchange rate with the South African rand to be stable.

The report highlights the fact that Mozambique is highly dependent on the European Union for trade, with 62.4 per cent of exports going to the euro zone in 2010.

Out of the forty countries covered in the report, Mozambique has the second highest vulnerability in terms of exports to the euro zone as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product - which in 2010 stood at over fourteen per cent (only Cote d'Ivoire had a higher percentage).

The report also warns that Mozambique might find that its banking sector is hit by problems in Portugal.

Mozambique's two largest banks, which account for sixty per cent of the banking sector's assets, are owned by the three major Portuguese financial institutions that experienced funding pressures through their exposure to European sovereign risks.

The report states that "even though it appears that Mozambican banks have generally remained resilient to the crisis, there is evidence that because of tight liquidity conditions and funding pressures from parent banks, they were forced to reduce their risk taking and curtailed credit growth".

According to Dr Isabella Massa, "the escalation of the euro crisis and the fact that growth rates in emerging BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China), which have been the engine of the global recovery after the 2008-9 financial crisis, are now slowing down make the current situation really worrying for developing countries".


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