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Operations at Vale's Moatize met coal mine in Mozambique suspended: sources

Singapore — Operations at Brazilian miner Vale's Moatize mine in Mozambique were suspended early this week, market sources said Thursday.

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One source close to the matter said the suspension could be due to local elections in Mozambique Wednesday, adding the situation could be resolved as soon as Friday.

The suspension had been expected, the source said, and measures had been taken to offset the potential loss of output.

Vale was not available for comment.

An Indian end-user of Moatize coal said the suspension could affect his November laycan, and he was waiting for an update from the miner.

"I expect prices to spike in the FOB market in the short term, as some of the long-term contract customers will have to buy spot cargoes to cover their positions," a trader said.

The suspension came at a time where US miner Peabody has declared force majeure on its Premium Mid Vol North Goonyella coking coal from Queensland, Australia.

Typical Moatize coking coal specifications are 66% CSR, 25% VM, 8% TM, 10.5% Ash and 0.85% Sulfur, 1500 dial division per minute, according to S&P Global Platts data.

In 2017, Vale produced 11.2 million mt of coal, of which 60% was coking coal and 40% thermal coke.

Platts last assessed Premium Low Vol FOB Australia at $217/mt FOB Australia Thursday, up 50 cents/mt day on day.

--Weng Yile,

--Edited by Dan Lalor,