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The rehabilitation of the N303 is vital not only for Mozambique but for the region as a whole. It will link the coal-rich province of Tete, as well as the landlocked countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the port of Nacala, the deepest port in southern Africa.
State company Transnet is to introduce a 200-wagon rail service running directly from coal mines in Mpumalanga province to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal in KwaZulu-Natal, significantly boosting South Africa's coal export capacity.
South Africa is a world leader in mining. The country is famous for its abundance of mineral resources, accounting for a significant proportion of world production and reserves, and South African mining companies are key players in the global industry.
South Africa will probably continue to make use of coal as its primary source of energy, but will increasingly explore clean energy initiatives as it moves towards a lower-carbon economy, says Energy Minister Dipuo Peters.
Brazilian mining giant Vale has opened a new US$1.7-billion (R11.39-billion) coal mine in Mozambique - the largest single investment in the southern African country to date.
UK-based London Mining has entered the South African coal mining sector with a US$120-million (about R920-million) acquisition of a 50.5% stake in DMC Energy from local mining and exploration firm Delta Mining Consolidated.
South African scientists are piloting a cheaper, cleaner coal-to-liquid fuel process in China, with the aim of creating a technology suited not only to China's energy needs, but to developing countries in general.
South Africa's Richards Bay Coal Terminal is to spend about R1-billion expanding its yearly export capacity to 92-million tons of coal by 2008, making it the biggest such facility in the world.