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Coal News

Lower metals prices weigh on materials price index – IHS

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd September 2017 The materials price index (MPI) from Global Insight by IHS Markit has slipped 0.1% last week, the first decline in four weeks, as metal markets finally began to slide, the firm advised on Friday. The strength of the last few weeks has been mainly attributable to a surge in metal prices and the... 

Exxaro, NUM wage agreement halts strike

By: Martin Creamer     22nd September 2017 Coal mining company Exxaro Coal and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have reached a three-year wage agreement, which brings the current wage strike at its Grootegeluk and Leeuwpan mines to a conclusion.  “We are pleased that the parties were able to resolve the dispute speedily,” Exxaro... 

Gateway secures funding package for Bowen basin coal buy

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd September 2017 ASX-listed Gateway Mining has secured a funding package of up to A$10-million from cornerstone investor Baker Steel Resources Investment Trust to finance its acquisition of Queensland Coal Investment Holdings (QCIH). In March, Gateway announced its plan to acquire QCIH, which owns two coal... 

Rio launches $2.5bn share buy-back

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd September 2017 Diversified major Rio Tinto will spend an additional $2.5-billion on its ongoing share buy-back programme, funded by the recent sale of its Coal & Allied subsidiary to ASX-listed Yancoal. The capital return programme will be executed through a combination of an off-market buy-back tender,... 

Rio launches $2.5bn share buy-back

Stanmore's plan for Isaac Plains East proceeds

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd September 2017 Coal miner Stanmore Coal’s plan to extend the mine life of its Isaac Plains mine, in Queensland, is progressing well, with no objections recorded for the Isaac Plains East project. The ASX-listed Stanmore on Friday reported that no submissions or objections were received during the public... 

CFBC the preferred coal combustion technology

By: Nica Schreuder     22nd September 2017 Among the coal combustion technologies developed to achieve lower emissions, circulating fluidised-bed combustion (CFBC) technology is the preferred clean coal technology option, says Fossil Fuel Foundation co-founder and executive committee member Professor Rosemary Falcon. Despite South... 

CFBC the preferred coal combustion technology
Photo by Duane Daws
ROSEMARY FALCON The Fossil Fuel Foundation’s co-founder and executive committee member believes circulating fluidised-bed combustion is the preferred technology

Companies find use for abandoned underground coal mines

By: Nica Schreuder     22nd September 2017 Forsaken underground coal mines are increasingly being reopened using opencast mining methods, according to independent mining advisory group Ukwazi senior mining engineer Adriaan Strydom, who tells Mining Weekly that this practice is effectively enabled through increased mechanisation. While an... 

Companies find use for abandoned underground coal mines
Photo by Bloomberg
SECOND CHANCE The trend of returning to underground mines and turning them into opencast mines is a cost-effective alternative to exploration

Electricity exports create investment opportunity for S Africa

By: Nica Schreuder     22nd September 2017 Power generation stakeholders and key industry players are investigating ways of deriving the most benefit from lower coal qualities, says independent mining advisory company Ukwazi senior mining engineer Adriaan Strydom, who tells Mining Weekly that companies are implementing new technologies to... 

Electricity exports create investment opportunity for S Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
LEGISLATION DERAILING Rail infrastructure is crucial in Africa and South Africa, but can only be finalised once legislation surrounding independent power producers is finalised

Hazardous area control system for coal mining

By: Nica Schreuder     22nd September 2017 Owing to the possible presence of hazardous methane gas during coal mining, it is common practice to monitor methane levels at operational mining sections. As such, mining monitoring systems company Monitech’s Hazardous Area Control System was introduced to coal mining fifteen years ago and it... 

Hazardous area control system  for coal mining
METHANE MITIGATION Monitech’s Hazardous Area Control Systems promotes safety and the importance of monitoring mining activities

Minerals processing business bullish about future, despite industry challenges

By: Nica Schreuder     22nd September 2017 Based on substantial growth over the past 12 years, mining and industrial services provider Fraser Alexander’s minerals processing business intends to double its revenue within the next three to five years, says Fraser Alexander minerals processing GM Jaco Scholtz. “We are particularly proud of... 

Minerals processing business bullish about future, despite industry challenges
ALL ENCOMPASSING Fraser Alexander is able to service clients across the coal washing and processing value chain

Rail company unlocking coal export potential

     22nd September 2017 According to South African rail, port and pipeline company Transnet, increasing rail capacity in South Africa is critical for unlocking coal export opportunities, both for neighbouring African countries and for the domestic market. The rail utility discussed its approach to increasing rail... 

Rail company unlocking coal export potential
PROPOSED PROJECT To relieve pressure on the Ermelo–Richards Bay line, Transnet Freight Rail is currently considering the SwaziLink Project, which will divert general freight away from the key coal export line

Real-time analysis aids coal mining efficiency

     22nd September 2017 To avoid incorrect plant control decisions and plant inefficiencies, technologies that measure mining process streams must be implemented directly and in real time. Australia-based bulk materials monitoring company Scantech uses real-time analysis technologies to measure conveyed bulk materials... 

Real-time analysis aids coal mining efficiency
REAL-TIME EFFICIENCY The COALSCAN 9500X is installed on the conveyor and only takes up one metre of belt space

Technological advances aim to improve sustainability

By: Nica Schreuder     22nd September 2017 Owing to the possible presence of hazardous methane gas during coal mining, it is common practice to monitor methane levels at operational mining sections. As such, mining monitoring systems company Monitech’s Hazardous Area Control System was introduced to coal mining fifteen years ago and it... 

Technological advances aim to improve sustainability
CUSTOMISED PROJECTS Every Exxaro project is customised, owing to possible environmental constraints

Eskom not generating enough cash to cover interest on debt – report

By: Terence Creamer     21st September 2017 A new report analysing Eskom’s financial position warns that the State-owned utility is simply not generating enough cash through operations and electricity sales to cover the interest on its borrowings, which will peak at around R500-billion in the coming three years. However, it also argues... 

Eskom not generating enough cash to cover interest on debt – report

Outa moves to freeze Gupta mines’ rehabilitation trust fund accounts

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st September 2017 The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) plans to bring about an urgent interdict against the Bank of Baroda to freeze the R1.75-billion held in the Gupta-owned Optimum and Koornfontein coal mines’ rehabilitation trust fund accounts. The group on Thursday said in a statement that the interdict... 

Mining's biggest mystery is what Agarwal plans to do with Anglo

By: Bloomberg     21st September 2017 As Anglo American’s board met at the lavish Vergelegen wine estate in South Africa yesterday evening as part of a 100-year celebration, executives were blindsided by news headlines: Indian mining tycoon Anil Agarwal was becoming the biggest shareholder. After Anglo’s managers partied to honor the... 

Mining's biggest mystery is what Agarwal plans to do with Anglo

China's NDRC says coal mines must not close to avoid inspections

By: Reuters     21st September 2017 China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Thursday warned coal miners not to temporarily close to avoid inspections as the country's top economic planner works to stabilize prices amid the environmental and safety checks. In a statement on its website, NDRC also said railway... 

Tlou submits plans for Botswana power plant

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     21st September 2017 ASX- and Aim-listed Tlou Energy has submitted a proposal to the Botswana Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security to develop up to 100 MW of coalbed methane- (CBM-) fuelled pilot power plants in the African country. The government of Botswana earlier this year requested... 

Brown receives outstanding information on Eskom’s relationship with Gupta-linked Trillian

By: African News Agency      20th September 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has received answers from Eskom to outstanding questions about its relationship with Trillian, a Gupta-linked company, her office said on Wednesday. “Minister Brown last night received Eskom’s responses to her queries. She noted  progress and Eskom will... 

‘Rebasing’ for lower Eskom sales to trigger 9.4% hike even before any revenue adjustment 

By: Terence Creamer     20th September 2017 State-owned electricity utility Eskom has sounded that warning that, even if its allowable revenue is not increased at all for the 2018/19 year, tariffs will still need to rise by 9.4% simply to accommodate a “rebasing” electricity sales volumes when compared with those approved in the third... 

‘Rebasing’ for lower Eskom sales to trigger 9.4% hike even before any revenue adjustment

Sasol proposes new R21bn BBBEE ownership transaction 

By: Anine Kilian     20th September 2017 JSE-listed Sasol on Wednesday announced a proposed new R21-billion broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) ownership transaction, Sasol Khanyisa, which will replace Sasol’s debt-ridden Sasol Inzalo fund, which expires in June 2018. When Sasol Inzalo lapses, it will not be able to... 

Sasol proposes new R21bn BBBEE ownership transaction
Sasol joint president and CEO Stephen Cornell talks about the lessons learned from the Sasol Inzalo transaction and how the proposed new Sasol Khanyisa transaction will be different. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

BHP pressed to quit Australian mining lobby over climate views

By: Reuters     19th September 2017 BHP on Tuesday urged shareholders to vote down a resolution aimed at getting the mining giant to quit Australia's top mining lobby group, but said it will separately review its membership of industry bodies. BHP agreed to let shareholders vote on the resolution submitted by an ethical investing... 

Coal miner New Hope swings to full-year profit

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     19th September 2017 Coal miner New Hope Corporation has swung back into black during the 2017 financial year, with the miner reporting a 362% increase in net profit after tax. During the 12 months to July, net profit increased to A$140.6-million, compared with a net loss of A$53.6-million in 2016. 

Odisha to clamp down on illegal coal, nonferrous mineral extraction

By: Ajoy K Das     19th September 2017 Close on the heels of imposing penalties on iron-ore and manganese miners, the government of the eastern Indian province of Odisha is readying for a clampdown on coal and other nonferrous mineral miners for production beyond approved mining plans. The Odisha government is preparing notices to be... 

Pennsylvania permitting delay prompts Consol to change Bailey mine plan

By: Henry Lazenby     19th September 2017 A delay by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in evaluating the approval of the Bailey mine permit for the 4L panel has pressed Consol Energy to move the longwall to another panel to resume operations. The company expects the longwall move to last about four weeks and... 

Ukraine's DTEK says power output, import contracts at risk if tariff not raised

By: Reuters     18th September 2017 The head of Ukraine's largest private power and coal producer, DTEK, said the company may have to halt production at one of its power plants or suspend import contracts if the government does not raise tariffs to account for expensive anthracite imports. Pro-Russian separatists seized control of... 

Kibo moves closer to concluding PPA, securing project financing for MCPP

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th September 2017 Dual-listed Kibo Mining says it is near concluding a power purchase agreement (PPA), as well as securing project financing for its Mbeya coal-to-power project (MCPP) in Tanzania. A memorandum of understanding (MoU), as a precursor to a final PPA with Tanzania power utility Tanesco, has passed all... 

African copper, nickel mines on Coal India radar as miner diversifies

By: Ajoy K Das     18th September 2017 Having decided to evolve into a diversified resource major from a pure play coal miner, Coal India Limited (CIL) has identified copper and nickel mines in Africa for its maiden overseas foray into noncoal minerals. KPMG has been appointed to prepare the roadmap that will see CIL emerge as a... 

Nelson Mandela Bay chamber says 19.9% power hike would be ‘crippling’

By: Terence Creamer     15th September 2017 The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber has expressed extreme disappointment with Eskom’s application for a 19.9% tariff increase from April 1, 2018, warning that such a hike would be “crippling” to business and the economy. Should the increase be approved it could translate to a 27.5% municipal... 

Nelson Mandela Bay chamber says 19.9% power hike would be ‘crippling’

Edenville pleased with progress at Rukwa mine

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th September 2017 Aim-listed Edenville Energy is pleased with the progress being made with the development of its Rukwa project, in Tanzania. “The first half of 2017 was an extremely busy and transformational period for the company.  Having raised funds in February to start production, we have been able to rapidly... 

New study points to 90% renewables mix being least cost by 2050 

By: Terence Creamer     15th September 2017 New analysis conducted using updated cost assumptions for solar photovoltaic (PV), onshore wind and batteries shows that the share of renewable energy in an electricity mix that would also be the least cost for South Africa could grow to above 90% by 2050. Such a portfolio, the study indicates,... 

New study points to 90% renewables mix being least cost by 2050
Photo by Duane Daws
Enertrag corporate business development head Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

McKinsey, KPMG targeted as South Africa graft scandal widens

By: Bloomberg     15th September 2017 After helping topple one of Britain’s best known public-relations companies, South African anti-corruption groups are now targeting US consultancy McKinsey & Co. and auditing firm KPMG for doing work for businesses tied to the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma’s son. The Guptas, originally... 

Hydrogen detection solutions to increase safety at Zambian mines

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2017 Tshwane-based industrial solutions provider RTS Africa Engineering (RTS) believes that Zambia offers a “strong and vibrant mining economy” and is currently in the process of entering the Zambian mining market to provide increased safety at mines through its hydrogen detection solutions. 

Hydrogen detection  solutions to increase safety at Zambian mines
HIGHLY VERSATILE The H2Scan Hy-Alerta 500 instrument is a “highly versatile” hand-held detection device

Repackaged technology to serve local minerals market well – FLSmidth 

By: Dylan Slater     15th September 2017 The repackaging of established technology to process mined minerals is set to serve the local market well, according to mining and cement process technology company FLSmidth.  

Repackaged technology to serve local minerals market well – FLSmidth
minerals processing technology expert Taavi Orupold tells Mining Weekly about the FLSmidth Refulx Classifier. Video and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Coal market boom casts bullish trajectory for Corsa as it prowls for M&A ops

By: Henry Lazenby     14th September 2017 Surprising as it may seem, coal demand is at an all-time high, with the current heydays spelling “good profits and rising margins” for several miners in this space, including US-focused Corsa Coal. The TSX-V-listed miner, which produces coal from six mines, has one development mine and operates... 

Coal market boom casts bullish trajectory for Corsa as it prowls for M&A ops

Exxaro, NUM to resume wage negotiations on Friday

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th September 2017 Diversified miner Exxaro has received a revised set of demands from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the parties will resume wage negotiations on Friday. “We've noted the decision by NUM to issue a strike notice. The strike action affects Grootegeluk coal mine, in Lephalale, as well as... 

Stakeholders to push back at upcoming hearings into Eskom’s 2018 hike 

By: Terence Creamer     14th September 2017 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has outlined the process it will be following to assess Eskom’s request for a 19.9% tariff increase for the 2018/19 financial year, setting a deadline of October 13 for the submission of written comments. Nersa has approved Eskom’s request to... 

Stakeholders to push back at upcoming hearings into Eskom’s 2018 hike
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