October 13, 2014

SOUTH AFRICA: London Based Universal Coal To Start Export-Focused Roodekop Mine Before Year-End

Mining Weekly
written by Esmarie Swanepoel
Tuesday October 7, 2014

South Africa-focused coal miner Universal Coal on Tuesday announced plans to start the development of a second coal mine at its Roodekop project, in the Witbank coalfield.

The miner said that with the grant of a water licence, the Roodekop project had all the necessary approvals in place to start development.

“With our Kangala mine operating at steady state and delivering to schedule, we are delighted to now have all the licences in place to commence development of our export-focused project - Roodekop,” said Universal CEO Tony Weber.

The Roodekop project, which has a proven reserve of 10.6-million tonnes, and a total resource of 84.36-million tonnes, is located adjacent to the New Clydesdale colliery, which Universal is set to acquire.

With the acquisition of New Clydesdale, mining activities at Roodekop would be fast-tracked to start before year-end.

“Once the acquisition of New Clydesdale is completed we will operate the colliery and Roodekop as one complex, taking advantage of the natural synergies in place. In essence, the combined New Clydesdale colliery and Roodekop contain sufficient coal resources to support the installed two-million-tonne-a-year processing capacity at the colliery for the foreseeable future, with a significant proportion of production able to be beneficiated for the export market,” Weber said.

He noted that the development of New Clydesdale and Roodekop brought Universal one step closer to becoming a midtier coal producer, with the company already having an installed processing capacity of 6.25-million tonnes, and the coal resources and development initiatives in place to double the current 2.4-million-tonne-a-year run-of-mine production, in the short term.

Meanwhile, Weber noted that project financing for Roodekop was also well advanced, with the company agreeing to a funding package with IchorCoal NV and major shareholder Coal Development Holding, which would result in a A$25.5-million strategic investment.

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