Maputo, Mozambique: The mining company Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique signed a cooperation protocol with the Mozambican Ministry of Agriculture on establishing and maintaining permanent GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) stations in Mozambique.
According to a Rio Tinto press release, the purpose of the protocol is to define forms of technical and scientific cooperation in setting up, using and maintaining permanent satellite stations in Mozambique. The Protocol will be managed by the National Mapping and Remote Sensing Centre (CENACARTA).
Currently the GNSS network in Mozambique has only four permanent stations, in the cities of Maputo, Inhambane, Nampula and Pemba. “To ensure coverage of the entire national territory, other stations must be built in the interior of the country”, said the release.
Rio Tinto had already set up a station of its own in Tete province, where it is operating a gigantic open cast coal mine. This week Rio Tinto handed management of the station over to CENACARTA. It claims that the Tete station increases the capacity of the network by 50 per cent.
Further stations are planned for Beira, Quelimane and Lichinga. Construction should be concluded by the end of the year, and between them the stations should provide total coverage of Mozambique.
The permanent satellite stations are owned by the Mozambican state and the information they provide is for public access. “This will be fundamental for improving the collection of geographical data for developing structured plans for urban planning, 4D monitoring systems, and control of dredging, among others”, added the release.
Through the protocol, Rio Tinto and the Ministry of Agriculture pledge to promote joint studies to improve the skills of local technical staff, and consolidate their capacity to intervene in development projects. Mozambican universities will also be supported in promoting such disciplines as surveying, geomatics and geography in general.
The Chief Executive Office of Rio Tinto in Mozambique, Eric Finlayson, said “This protocol is an important landmark in the efforts of Rio Tinto to promote cooperation with the Mozambican government in order to develop the country”.
He added that the partnership “will place CENACARTA in the technological vanguard”, and would drive the development of Tete, and eventually of the rest of Mozambique and of SADC (Southern African Development Community).