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Coal News

Gigantic SA-made ore scrubber destined for Sierra Leone mineral sands mine

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Mechanical process equipment and solutions provider MechProTech has completed the manufacturing of one of its largest pieces of mining process equipment – the multimillion-rand, Titan 3596 mineral ore scrubber – which will be delivered to a mineral sands mine in Sierra Leone. MechProTech focuses... 

Offshore capital equipment markets come in handy amid ‘turmoil’ in domestic mining sector

By: Dylan Slater     29th September 2017 South African capital equipment manufacturers that are exporting, and which have survived the ongoing turmoil in the mining industry and domestic economic environment, have showed resilience and bear testament to the lifeline provided through exporting products and not relying solely on sales... 

Offshore capital equipment markets come in handy  amid ‘turmoil’ in domestic mining sector

Exxaro, Solidarity sign three-year agreement

By: Martin Creamer     28th September 2017 Mining company Exxaro and trade union Solidarity have signed a three-year collective agreement on wages and other conditions of service, Mining Weekly Online can report.  The union said on Thursday that the first year’s pay increases of 7.5% to 10% would be back dated to July 1. 

Exxaro, Solidarity sign three-year agreement
Photo by Duane Daws
Exxaro is headed by CEO Mxolisi Mgojo,

Unreasonable electricity price curve contributing to weak business climate – EIUG

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2017 The Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa (EIUG) has called for urgent intervention to halt what it describes as the current “downward spiral” of a shrinking electricity sales base and increasing and unaffordable electricity tariffs. The EIUG represents 32 mostly mining and industrial... 

Unreasonable electricity price curve contributing to weak business climate  – EIUG
Dr Tsakani Mthombeni

No clarity on funding drawdown for mine rehab – Joburg Indaba

By: Martin Creamer     27th September 2017 There is no clarity on the way that mining companies can draw down from their financial provision vehicles to undertake mine rehabilitation, the Joburg Indaba Breakfast heard on Wednesday during a discussion on the implications of the new National Environmental Management Act (Nema). Chaired by... 

No clarity on funding drawdown for mine rehab – Joburg Indaba
Photo by Joburg Indaba
Panellists from left to right are Pan African CEO Cobus Loots, MSA MD Ben Burnand, PwC's Dr Ferdi Linde, ENSafrica's Andries Myburgh, DMR's director of mine closure Reuben Masenya and Cenviro Solutions MD Leentie Smit

TFR’s Natcor, coal lines achieve records in September

By: Anine Kilian     27th September 2017 Transnet Freight Rail’s (TFR’s) Natal Corridor (Natcor) channel, which operates the railway line that stretches from Rietvlei, in Gauteng, to the Durban Harbour, broke its monthly tonnage record in September. The Natcor channel railed 1.31-million tons, smashing its previous best monthly tonnage... 

Botswana to name developer of $4bn plant by December

By: Bloomberg     27th September 2017 Botswana Oil will choose by December a company to build and operate a $4-billion coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant, a facility it said may meet as much as 80% of the Southern African country’s fuel demand. The state-owned oil firm received 11 bids by its August deadline and is subjecting them to... 

Yancoal buys further stake in Warkworth coal mine for $230m

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     27th September 2017 ASX-listed Yancoal Australia has exercised a call option to purchase Mitsubishi Development’s 28.9% interest in the Warkworth coal joint venture (JV) for $230-million. The deal followed Yancoal’s $2.69-bilion acquisition of mining major Rio Tinto’s Coal & Allied subsidiary, which included a... 

Auditing firm cuts ties with Gupta’s Oakbay

By: Sane Dhlamini     27th September 2017 The board of auditing firm Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo (SNG) has resigned as auditors of Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources and Energy Limited and its related entities. The auditing firm’s statement stipulates that this decision was made after a thorough assessment of its relationship with the company which... 

Auditing firm cuts ties with Gupta’s Oakbay

BC’s NDP-led govt talks up exploration, mining as basis for building burgeoning communities

By: Henry Lazenby     26th September 2017 British Columbia is ‘ground zero’ for mining in Canada, as technological advances require an ever-increasing volume of metals to satisfy improving standards of living and environment-friendly technologies. This was the key message to attendees at the fourth yearly Resource Breakfast Series held... 

BC’s NDP-led govt talks up exploration, mining as basis for building burgeoning communities
Photo by British Columbia Government
BC Minister for Energy, Mines and Petroleum Michelle Mungall was formally sworn in by Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon

Court freezes mine rehab billions from Gupta-owned mines

By: News24Wire      26th September 2017 Anti-corruption advocacy group the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) on Tuesday won an urgent interim interdict to freeze some R1.75-billion in mine rehabilitation funds from two Gupta-owned coal mines. The group’s urgent application was heard in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. In a... 

 Court freezes mine rehab billions from Gupta-owned mines

Universal Coal to boost output by 50% in 2018

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     26th September 2017 ASX-listed miner Universal Coal expects its output to increase from 3-million tonnes in 2017 to to 4.5-million tonnes in 2018, as its Kangala and New Clydesdale mines, in South Africa, reach steady-state production. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation are also expected... 

Universal Coal to boost output by 50% in 2018

CoAL updates Uitkomst reserves

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     26th September 2017 South Africa-focused Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) has reported resources and reserves of 26.9-million-tons at its recently acquired Uitkomst Colliery. The company also said on Tuesday that it would apply to have the project’s new order mining right extended from October 2023 to align with the... 

EU power generators warn plan to cut use of coal may backfire

By: Bloomberg     26th September 2017 A group representing power generators across the European Union warned that the bloc’s plans to limit the use of coal may backfire, encouraging utilities to seek returns on new fossil-fuel plants instead of putting money into clean energy. European Commission is considering a law that would... 

EU power generators warn plan to cut use of coal may backfire

India eases auction rules to usher in commercial coal mining

By: Ajoy K Das     26th September 2017 To successfully break out of the more than four-decade-long nationalisation of the coal industry, the Indian government will ease rules for the auctioning of ten coal blocks. To open up commercial mining of coal to private miners, the government will neither be setting a minimum reserve price,... 

Arch Coal reprices, amends credit accord

By: Henry Lazenby     26th September 2017 US coal miner Arch Coal has successfully completed an amendment to its credit agreement to reduce the interest rate on its senior secured term loan facility, the company reported on Monday. The new interest rate for the $300-million term loan facility is Libor plus 325 basis points – reflecting a... 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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. 

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