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Coal News

Eskom’s own survival at risk should big hikes be permitted, EIUG warns  

By: Terence Creamer     5th February 2019 The Energy Intensive User Group (EIUG) has added its voice to the overwhelming chorus of societal opposition to Eskom’s latest tariff submission, warning on Tuesday that above-inflation hikes would have “immediate, catastrophic and irreversible” consequences for South Africa’s mining and... 

High Court to hear environmental organisations’ application for access to coal IPP documents 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th February 2019 The Pretoria High Court will, on Wednesday, hear an application brought by environmental organisations, groundWork and Earthlife Africa, for the handover of various documents relating to the judicial review of the environmental authorisations granted to two coal-fired power station preferred... 

Expect some tough announcements on Eskom soon – Davies 

By: News24Wire      5th February 2019 Eskom is in deep trouble financially and operationally and South Africa is facing enormous challenges in the electricity industry, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies said on Tuesday. Davies was a guest speaker at a round table discussion hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry on... 

Expect some tough announcements on Eskom soon – Davies
Photo by Creamer Media
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies

South32’s South Africa Energy Coal expresses concern about Eskom’s fragile state 

By: Kim Cloete     4th February 2019 Mining and metals company South32 says it is concerned about the challenges that have increasingly threatened the stability of South African power utility Eskom and needs to ensure the continuity of supply of its coal to Eskom in the long run. South32’s South Africa Energy Coal (SAEC) company... 

South32’s South Africa Energy Coal expresses concern about Eskom’s fragile state
Globally diversified mining and metals company, South32, says it is concerned about the challenges that have increasingly threatened the stability of Eskom. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd

Busa calls for inflation-linked Eskom hikes until power market is restructured  

By: Terence Creamer     4th February 2019 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has urged the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to suspend its methodology for setting power tariffs and to grant Eskom only inflation-linked increases until the electricity supply industry has been restructured. In a presentation during Gauteng... 

Busa calls for inflation-linked Eskom hikes until power market is restructured
Photo by Dylan Slater
BUSA’s Martin Kingston

Eskom lays bare its monumental challenges 

By: Martin Creamer     4th February 2019 When Eskom had 32 000 employees, debt of R40-billion and an output of 40 000 MW, it was a world-beater, Eskom group CE Phakamani Hadebe said on Monday. But its current employee level of 47 000 employees, debt of R440-billion and output of only 38 000 MW are presenting major turn-around challenges. 

Global demand for coal rises despite uncertainty

By: Kim Cloete     4th February 2019 Despite a move to renewable energy, particularly in Europe, demand for coal globally soared in 2018, led by low calorific value (CV) coal demand. The strongest import markets were China and India, while Indonesia performed extremely strongly on the supply side. China’s demand for coal... 

Coal exports have not risen since 2008, with the IRP posing a further threat, says Minerals Council

By: Kim Cloete     4th February 2019 Coal production, exports and investment in the industry have remained stagnant since 2008, despite higher export prices and South Africa’s abundant coal reserves, says the Minerals Council South Africa. “Even as the coal export price soared, export volumes failed to respond,” Minerals Council... 

Eskom warns of R20bn losses this year and next, even after big hikes  

By: Terence Creamer     4th February 2019 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is warning that its loss for 2018/19 will be worse, at R20-billion, than the R15-billion loss it had projected earlier and that it will be followed by another big loss in 2019/20 even if it receives hikes it is currently seeking from the regulator. CFO Calib... 

Eskom warns of R20bn losses this year and next, even after big hikes
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom CFO Calib Cassim

Transnet says coal exports expected to dip this year

By: Kim Cloete     1st February 2019 Coal exports are expected to drop this year, following a disappointingly slow run over the past few months, says Transnet Freight Rail coal GM Mandisa Mondi. “For the current financial year, the target for export was 77-million tonnes. We are trending at 73-million tonnes. We hope to have a good... 

Technical defects at Medupi and Kusile resulting in serious underperformance  

By: Terence Creamer     1st February 2019 State-owned electricity producer Eskom has offered a sobering update on the difficulties it is having at its Medupi and Kusile coal projects, which are not only years behind schedule and significantly over budget, but are now also beset with technical defects that are resulting in a serious... 

Technical defects at Medupi and Kusile resulting in serious underperformance

Rising US coal exports fail to stem domestic decline

By: Mariaan Webb     1st February 2019 Despite promises to revive the US coal mining industry, analysts are saying that the country’s policy actions are not enough to reverse the trend of declining coal demand from the power generation industry. In 2018, US coal production fell to 755-million short tons – a 20-million short ton... 

Rising US coal exports fail to stem domestic decline

Eskom revises tariff upwards as it unveils shock changes to Nersa submission  

By: Terence Creamer     1st February 2019 Embattled electricity utility Eskom has made shock adjustments to its revenue application currently before the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), which, if approved, would translate into tariff increases that are even higher than the 15% a year hikes sought in its initial... 

Eskom revises tariff upwards as it unveils shock changes to Nersa submission
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom CFO Calib Cassim

Project Halo stakes claim to buy Guptas' Optimum coal mines

By: Bloomberg     1st February 2019 Project Halo, a South African group that bid R3.05-billion for Tegeta Exploration & Resources' coal assets after it was placed under administration, said it expects the deal to go ahead and it’s unaware other offers will be entertained. “As things stand today we are the preferred bidder,” Project... 

Ncondezi’s Mozambique integrated power project timetable nearing approval

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st February 2019 Ncondezi Energy continues to engage positively with the liaison committee regarding the approval of the project timetable for its integrated 300 MW power and coal mine project, in Tete, Mozambique. Ncondezi aims to deliver the first power from the project in 2023. 

Botswana keen for corridor to link to South Africa’s coalfields

By: Kim Cloete     1st February 2019 Botswana’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Dorcas Makgato, has revived the need for a new heavy haul railway linking Botswana’s Mmamabula area with South Africa’s Lephalale coalfields.   Makgato said the project aimed to link coal deposits in both areas with South African heavy haul... 

Exxaro upbeat about its coal operations 

By: Kim Cloete     1st February 2019 Empowered coal mining giant Exxaro Resources is confident about its prospects in the coal sector, despite tough conditions and rising cost pressures in South Africa. Exxaro executive head of coal Nombasa Tsengwa on Thursday said the company produced 47-million tons of coal and was geared to grow... 

Company revives mobile dewatering pump systems

1st February 2019 When called upon to refurbish two diesel powered mobile dewatering trailers, pump supplier Mechanical Rotating Solution (MRS) made sure that it put its own personal seal of quality on the product by not only refurbishing the units but also improving on the original design aspects. 

Logistics a weak link in South Africa’s coal value chain

By: Tracy Hancock     1st February 2019 There needs to be greater impetus on improving the infrastructure that transports coal for domestic use and for export in South Africa. One way of doing so is by dealing with the overuse of road transport and coordinating the logistics of junior miners, which contribute to inefficient coal... 

Logistics a weak link in South Africa’s coal value chain

Invest in clean technology to counter the siege on the coal industry, Mantashe implores 

By: Kim Cloete     31st January 2019 The coal industry needs to counter the negative attitude towards the industry by investing in clean coal technology and funding research initiatives to find alternative markets for coal, says Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. He told delegates at the opening of the fourteenth annual... 

Invest in clean technology to counter the siege on the coal industry, Mantashe implores
Photo by Dylan Slater
Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe

Eskom laments poor quality of coal  

By: Kim Cloete     31st January 2019 Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer has called on coal mining companies to "play ball" and improve the quality of the coal they supply to the utility. He has also outlined the massive challenges facing the utility and said Eskom was holding out for the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to... 

Eskom laments poor quality of coal

Paringa inks another offtake for Poplar Grove

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st January 2019 Coal developer Paringa Resources has signed a sales agreement with utility Big River Electric Corporation (BREC) for up to 1.4-million tonnes of coal between 2019 and 2023 from its Poplar Grove mine, in Kentucky. The sales agreement with BREC took Paringa’s total five-year contracted sales... 

How South Africa could fix distressed Eskom

By: Bloomberg     31st January 2019 South Africa’s government will announce within a month how it plans to fix Eskom Holdings, the embattled state utility that supplies more than 90% of the nation’s power. There are no easy remedies. The company is R419-billion in debt, is losing money hand over fist, has way more staff than it... 

South Africa's largest labour union plans nationwide strike over mass layoffs  

By: Reuters     30th January 2019 South Africa's largest labour union group, with more than a million and a half members, said on Wednesday it would stage a nationwide strike on Feb. 13 over large-scale layoffs at ailing state-owned firms and at private companies. The decision by the Congress of South African Trade Unions... 

Kibo’s Benga DFS ahead of schedule; MED progresses with three flexible power plant projects

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th January 2019 Aim- and AltX-listed Kibo Energy announced on Wednesday that its 60%-owned subsidiary MAST Energy Developments (MED) has started negotiating joint development agreements (JDAs) for two flexible power plants. This should provide early revenue for Kibo, with the sites – 5 MW, 11 kVA and 20 MW, 33... 

Kibo’s Benga DFS ahead of schedule; MED progresses with three flexible power plant projects
Kibo Energy CEO Louis Coetzee

People lining up to work on Adani’s Carmichael project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th January 2019 Some 14 500 workers have registered with Indian major Adani for work on the $16.5-billion Carmichael coal project, the head of its Australian unit said on Wednesday, lobbying the Queensland government get behind the project “When you get 14 500 people wanting to work for you and most of these... 

Coalition welcomes Mpumalanga MEC’s decision to not exclude properties from the Mabola protected area

By: Simone Liedtke     29th January 2019 The members of a civil society coalition that has been challenging mining company Atha Africa’s proposed new coal mine inside a Mpumalanga strategic water source area, have welcomed the decision by Mpumalanga MEC Vusumuzi Shongwe to withdraw his notice of intention to exclude the area proposed... 

Gordhan says Eskom restructuring decision imminent  

By: Terence Creamer     29th January 2019 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday that Eskom’s financial and operational problems were unlikely to be solved without structural changes being made at the State-owned electiricity utility. Speaking as part of a panel discussion at Business Unity South Africa’s inaugural... 

Gordhan says Eskom restructuring decision imminent
Photo by Dylan Slater
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Sulaiman resigns as Wescoal CEO  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th January 2019 Waheed Sulaiman has resigned as CEO and director of Wescoal with effect from January 31. Wescoal’s board is in the process of recruiting a new CEO. 

Sulaiman resigns as Wescoal CEO
Waheed Sulaiman

Boost for international miners as India's thermal coal imports jump

By: Reuters     28th January 2019 India's 2018 thermal coal imports rose at the fastest pace in four years, according to two industry sources, despite moves by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to cut imports in a bid to reduce its trade deficit. Coal is among the top five commodities imported by India, one of the... 

Boost for international miners as India's thermal coal imports jump
Ships are loaded in Richards Bay, South Africa. The country accounts for 22% of India's thermal coal imports.

MC Mining mitigates Uitkomst challenges, focuses on developing new projects  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2019 Despite having experienced a challenging quarter ended December 31 – the company’s second quarter of the 2019 financial year – ASX-, Aim- and JSE-listed MC Mining remains positive about the prospects for the full year. The company reported decreased run-of-mine (ROM) production from its... 

MC Mining mitigates Uitkomst challenges, focuses on developing new projects
Photo by Dylan Slater
MC Mining CEO David Brown

Colombia extends Drummond contract on coal mine for 20 years

By: Reuters     25th January 2019 Colombia has extended coal miner Drummond's license to operate its La Loma mine for an additional 20 years, the national mining agency said on Thursday. The contract at the mine, located in northeastern Cesar province, will generate at least $586-million in royalties, income and social project... 

Exxaro will present coal investment proposition at Indaba

By: Paige Müller     25th January 2019 South African coal and heavy minerals mining company Exxaro Resources will present its coal investment proposition at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba. On February 5, Exxaro representatives will present on the main stage at the twenty-fifth annual Investing in African Mining Indaba. 

Exxaro will present coal investment proposition at Indaba
BELFAST THERMAL COAL MINE The Belfast thermal coal mine – which is expected to begin its first coal production in the first quarter of 2020 – will be discussed at the 2019 Mining Indaba

Consultancy plans to expand mining capability

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     25th January 2019 Multidisciplinary engineering and environmental consultancy Knight Piésold aims to expand its mining capability and market share, especially in tailings, as well as assist mines in developing renewable-energy projects in remote areas where grid power is unavailable or unreliable, says Knight... 

Consultancy plans to expand mining capability
AWARD WINNING Knight Piésold won a South African Institution of Civil Engineering award for the design of the tailings storage facility of diversified miner Vedanta’s four-million-tonne-a-year Gamsberg zinc project

Indaba celebrates silver anniversary, reaffirms commitment to Africa

By: Nadine James     25th January 2019 The 2019 Investing in African Mining Indaba – to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from February 4 to 7 – will be the twenty-fifth iteration of the event, with the “world’s largest mining conference” having reached this milestone being testimony to its relevance and value,... 

Indaba celebrates silver anniversary, reaffirms commitment to Africa

Eskom should be split, experts to tell president – sources 

By: Reuters     24th January 2019 South Africa's Eskom could be split into three separate firms under proposals from experts President Cyril Ramaphosa has hired to help revive the ailing state power company, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Reforming Eskom is vital to get Africa's most industrialised economy... 

Anglo American delivers solid Q4 performance  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th January 2019 Diversified miner Anglo American achieved a 7% year-on-year increase in total production on a copper equivalent basis for the fourth quarter of 2018, excluding the effect of the stoppage at its Minas-Rio iron-ore mine, in Brazil. “Our continuing focus on efficiency and productivity improvements... 

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