Mining Mirror May 2018 - Page 13

Mine excursion The development of Canyon Coal’s Khanye Colliery has elevated the company from a junior miner to a mid-tier producer, writes Leon Louw. K Although the coal at Khanye is shallow, the geology presents several challenges. hanye Colliery, close to Bronkhorstspruit in Gauteng, will be Canyon Coal’s fourth mine in 10 years and is set to produce 200 000 tonnes of coal per month (tpm) when in full production. In addition to its current four operating mines, Canyon plans to bring another seven projects into production in the coming years. The company opened its first coal mine in South Africa, Hakhano Colliery, close to Middelburg in Mpumalanga, 10 years ago and shortly thereafter, developed Phalanndwa Colliery, near Delmas, also in Mpumalanga. Including its extension, Phalanndwa has a total resource of nine million tonnes (Mt) of coal, which means it will still produce coal for the next seven years. Production at Khanye has commenced and when Mining Mirror visited the site recently, work was in full swing on the open pit, processing plant, and all the associated infrastructure. Khanye has a total resource of 39Mt and has a life of 15 years. With a remaining resource of only about one million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) at the current Hakhano site (one-year life of mine), the opening of Khanye is perfectly timed. In addition, Canyon owns two proven reserves close to Hakhano that, on approval of the relevant statutory requirements, will supplement the current production rate. According to Vuslat Bayoglu, executive chairman at Canyon Coal, the current production of 320 000tpm will double output when Khanye — and Ukufisa, another project in the pipeline — comes online in 2018. “We are also planning to bring the second phase of Ukufisa online in 2019, boosting coal production by another 400 000tpm and increasing Canyon Coal’s production to more than 10Mtpa,” says Bayoglu. Ukufisa promises to be an interesting project, as it is located in the Springs area of Gauteng, a part of South Africa better known for its gold mines. Despite the obvious challenges of mining where gold miners have already made a significant impact (the mine is close to the historical Grootvlei gold mine), Ukufisa MAY 2018 MINING MIRROR [11]