Mining Mirror May 2018 - Page 14

Mine excursion The contractor has deployed on site and is currently in the process of constructing the major infrastructure. holds a lot of promise. The two-phased project has a combined coal resource of 180Mt and the expected life of mine is 36 years. Some of the other projects that Canyon Coal is targeting are Witfontein (resource of 69.3Mt), De Wittekrans (resource of 118Mt), and Springfield (resource of 307Mt). Most of the coal produced by Canyon will be exported. Third coal mine in Bronkhorstspruit Khanye is adjacent to the new Chilwavhusiku coal mine brought into production earlier this year by new junior miner Black Royalty Minerals. According to Alan Mabbett, general manager at Phalanndwa Colliery, the coal seams in the Bronkhorstspruit area have distinctive characteristics, totally different from the seams typically found in the Witbank coalfields. Mining is still new in [12] MINING MIRROR MAY 2018 Bronkhorstspruit, and Khanye is only the third mine to start operating in the area, while Khanye and Chilwavhusiku are now the only two operating coal mines in Gauteng. The other coal operation close to Bronkhorstspruit is the Palesa thermal coal mine, also known as Loopspruit, owned by private entity Hosken Consolidated Investments. Palesa, however, falls within the boundaries of the province of Mpumalanga. “The geology between the Bronkhorstspruit operations and those in the Delmas, Middelburg, and eMalahleni regions differs substantially. Even the terminology is different. At Khanye, the 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 seams so typical of the Witbank coalfield are not as pronounced, and we only mine three seams (1, 2, and 3 seams, in Witbank geological terms). The coal is also of a different quality,” says Mabbett. Transporting the sellable product Coal from Khanye will be railed for export to Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) on the east coast of South Africa. There is a rail siding about 6.5km from site but, according to Mabbett, the company needs to undertake earthworks and upgrades to get the siding up and running again. A coal mining company ideally should have access to a siding within at least a 50km radius from site. This reduces transport costs significantly. Canyon Coal has a Quattro allocation of 175 000 tonnes at RBCT, a dry bulk terminal allocation of 750 000 tonnes, another at ‘South Dunes’ of 700 000 tonnes, and an additional emerging miner’s allocation of one million tonnes, which gives Canyon Coal a total coal allocation of more than 2.6 million tonnes per annum at RBCT. An allocation of 2.6 million tonnes at