Name: Isibonelo Colliery
Location: Isibonelo Colliery is located approximately120 km due east of Johannesburg, 60 km south of Witbank and 13 km east of Secunda, in Mpumalanga.
Brief history: Anglo Coal and Sasol Mining entered into a contractual agreement in October 2003 to jointlydevelop the Kriel South Reserve Area. Under theagreement Anglo Coal committed itself to establishingIsibonelo Colliery, an opencast operation, to supplySasol’s Synthetic Fuel (SSF) plant in Secunda. In November 2003 construction work began and the first coal was supplied to SSF in July 2005.
Brief description: Isibonelo Colliery is designed tosupply SSF approximately 5 Mt/y over a 20-year period.
Mining method: Opencast mine – using dragline strip-mining method.
Reserves: As at mid-2005 total scheduled opencast reserves were 108 Mt.
Resources: As at mid-2005 total underground resources were 16,4 Mt.
Geology: Isibonelo Colliery is situated near the northern marginof the Highveld coalfield of Mpumalanga. The geological strataare represented predominantly by sandstone, interbedded with siltstone, shale, coal seams and occasional grit and mudstone. Bituminous coal seams hosted by the sedimentary strata in the Isibonelo Colliery Mining Licence area include, from the base up, the No 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 seams. Only the No 4 seam is presentlyconsidered to be economically viable, with an average opencast depth of 40 m and a thickness of 5,6 m. Major infrastructure and equipment: Two Marion 8200 drag-lines, overburden drills, hydraulic shovels and electric-drive 150-tcoal haulers are used during the conventional opencast-mining process. Extracted coal is then delivered to the primary in-pitsizing plant, after which it is conveyed along an 11,5 km surface conveyor to a 8 500-t bunker. From the bunker, the coal ispresented to the Sasol overland conveyor system.
Future prospects: Underground extraction of coal may take place once the contractual 100 Mt has beendelivered to Sasol.
Controlling company: Anglo Coal (100%).
Contact Person: Clive Ritchie, mine GM.
Unique features: Isibonelo Colliery is largely resourced withequipment, infrastructure and personnel from Sasol’s, now-closed, Syferfontein opencast operation as part of the Sasol Mining/Anglo Coal Kriel South contractual agreement.
Isibonelo Colliery Tel: 017 620 2700 Fax: 017 620 275
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Isibonelo Colliery, South Africa
Name: Isibonelo Colliery
By: Bruce Montiea
Australian mining technology company Emergent Mining Technologies (EMT) launched its Reduced Energy Mining System (REMS) in May to increase the energy efficiency of opencast coal mines. The technology is meant to dramatically reduce mine operating costs, improve productivity and prolong the economic life of opencut coal mines, says EMT director Brian MacDonald, adding that the company has been developing this new mining technology for the past 10 to 15 years. →
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