Brazilian mining company Vale is funding the training of Mozambican train drivers in order to boost the efficiency of the rail network from its open-cast coal mines in the western Mozambican province of Tete.
Since it began exporting coal last September, Vale has become reliant on the 600-km Sena line which runs from the Moatize coal basin in Tete to the port of Beira. Vale began its training programme for railway workers in 2010, in collaboration with Mozambique's publically-owned ports and rail company CFM, and to date has trained some 125 train drivers.
In the 1980s during the country's civil war, the Sena line was practically destroyed by sabotage including the blowing-up in 1986 of the Dona Ana bridge across the Zambezi river. The line has since been rehabilitated, and is crucial in the export of coal for companies such as Vale.
The Brazilian giant also announced its intention to construct a new railway from Moatize, running across southern Malawi, and linking up with the existing northern rail line to the Mozambican port of Nacala, about 900 km up the coast from Beira.