A woman crosses a railway line at Dondo, about 20km from Beira port in Mozambique in this file picture.

Johannesburg - Mozambique will open fresh bidding for coal-exploration licenses in the central Tete province by next week, with oil and gas tenders to follow soon, Mineral Resources Minister Esperanca Bias said.

“Between this week and next we will issue new bidding as we are going to revoke some licenses” where the holders didn’t fulfil contractual requirements, Bias said in an interview in the capital, Maputo.

She didn’t say how many areas would be included in the bidding process.

Rio Tinto and Vale are among mining companies with coal operations in the southern African nation, while Eni and Anadarko Petroleum are among those awarded exploration and production contracts at the offshore Rovuma Basin, site of the biggest gas discoveries in a decade.

“We have several companies looking for opportunities in Mozambique’s offshore areas, but we are telling them to be patient,” Bias said.

“We are only waiting for the mining law to be approved by parliament because new licenses must be guided by the new law.”

The revised legislation, which Bias said will be approved by the end of June, proposes that future licenses be granted on condition that 5 percent to 25 percent of projects be held by citizens of the southern African nation. - Bloomberg News