Argentos concessions are in three areas of Mozambique - Gile, Manimba and Cabo Delgado. Argento has started with a maiden camp in (cut ‘the’) Gile, chosen for its accessibility and its prevalence of Messassa wood to supply domestic railway sleeper demand.
Obtaining Logging Concessions in Mozambique
The production forests in Mozambique are administered by the National Directorate of Lands and Forests (DNTF), of the Ministry of Agriculture. Forests in National Parks and Game Reserves are under the authority of the Ministry of Tourism, with protection and law enforcement the responsibility of the recently created National Directorate for Conservation Areas (DNAC).
Securing concessions involved a 3-5 year consultation process with government and local communities. It is a laborious task and many applications are rejected. Argento’s success is due to our Head of Forestry, Patrick Greene’s ability to communicate our ethos, Argento’s brand and our dedication to working with local communities.
Having lost 10 percent of its forestry cover in 12 years, in February 2016 the government abolished short term licenses and halted applications for new 50 year licenses, until February 2018. As such, we expect no new concessions issued until after 2020, considerably limiting competition risk for Argento.
Our forest management team have decades of African forestry experience. Factors influencing our search for ideal concessions are:-
- Biological Growth
- Land Availability
- Environmental and Social sustainability
- Forest to industry logistics
- Industry to port logistics
- Port facility for export
- Local community
Forest to Port Logistics
Mobile Logging Camp
Mobile Logging camps are established with a typical working area of 5km radius. Trees are carefully measured and marked for cutting. Chainsaws cut trees and remove branches. Tractors transport logs to the mobile logging camp. Logs are squared using mobile saw mills. Bush trucks take the squares to the Main Camp
Mobile logging camps are low tech and more mobile units can simply be added. Mobile logging camps removes the need heavy machinery road access and thus forest impact
Squares are turned into planks by Resaws. Planks are graded and stacked, then air dried to 22-28 percent moisture.
Planks are transported via 400km of tarmac roads, to our Warehouse 2km from Nacala Port, a journey of 1.5 days with an overnight stop. Our warehouse is 2,000 square meters, European standard, steel structure with electrified perimeter fencing and security. Timber is offloaded, inspected and rebundled where necessary. Export documents are prepared and submitted to the clearing agent. Independent surveyors confirm the timber is to the client order. Mozambique authority confirm the legality. Containers are packed and dispatched to the port. (2 minutes away)
Nacala Deepwater Port
Containers loaded onto vessel. Argento is paid for the timber once loaded FOB (Free on Board)
Nacala Port is the third largest in Mozambique after Maputo and Beira: The port is well maintained and currently expanding its container loading areas. Container ships with up to 1,500, 20ft containers typically head to Durban and unload onto super container ships destined for Europe and Asia
Nacala Port is the centre of Nacala Special Economic Zone and shipped 100 containers of timber per week through 2015
World Shipping Routes
Nacala Port is ideally located for access to Europe, the Americas and Asian shipping routes. As a significant net importer, ships leave with less container (cut s) loads than they arrive. This makes our shipping rates to Europe and Asia very competitive.
Nacala International Airport
Nacala International Airport opened 2014 and is expected to be operating internationally next year.
Airport facilities occupy an area of 30,000 square metres, including a passenger terminal area of 15,000 square metres, a control tower and a 3,100-metre runway, dimensions that allow large aircraft, such as the Boeing 747, to use the facility. Source Macauhub
Nacala infrastructure also boasts a railway linking Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia.