Brazilian mining company Vale has signed an agreement with the Mozambique Government to build a new 180km freight rail line in northern Mozambique.

The rail line will stretch from Moatize to Lirangwe in Malawi and will carry coal to the export port at Beira via the existing Sena-Beira railroad.

The project includes building a new port at Nacala at the end of the rail line and upgrading a 730km section of the Malawi-Mozambique line.

The rail corridor is expected to carry future supplies of copper from the Zambian Copperbelt.