Riversdale Mining has increased the assessment of coal reserves at its Benga Coal Mine in Mozambique by 84% to 502 million tonnes. The mining company has also increased measured coal resources at the mine by 126% to 710 million tonnes.

The mine is a joint venture between Riversdale, which owns 65% of it and Tata Steel, which owns the remaining stake. Recent tests confirm the quality of the project’s hard coking coal products and a study to fast-track development of a 20Mtpa ROM (Run of Mine) per year operation has been initiated.

Michael O’Keeffe, executive chairman of Riversdale Mining, said: “The coal reserve increase will facilitate the early development of Benga as a significant source of hard coking coal. At an annual rate of 20 million tonnes ROM, Benga coal mine can produce 10 million tonnes of export quality thermal and coking coal annually, as well as sufficient domestic quality thermal coal to supply the planned development of the 500MW Benga Power station.”

HM Nerurkar, managing director of Tata Steel, said: “The significant increase in the coal reserves has impacted positively on the potential for the Benga coal mine to develop into a project of global significance.

“The Benga coal mine has the potential to be a major producer of premium coking coal products for global markets, including India. The material increase in the project’s coal reserves will support a feasibility study for a 20 million tonne ROM per year project.”