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Coal|Construction|Infrastructure|Mining|PROJECT|Resources|Systems|Underground|Water|Equipment|Infrastructure|Operations
coal|construction|infrastructure|mining|project|resources|systems|underground|water|equipment|infrastructure|operations

Anthracite shaft on track for scheduled production

RAMPING UP OPERATIONS Once the shaft is complete, ZAC intends to ramp up operations at the 1.2-million-tonne resource, with targets of between 180 000 t/y and 240 000 t/y of anthracite at steady-state production envisioned

NO STONE UNTURNED The initial development of Mngeni will focus on establishing the crown pillar and accessing the proposed downcast shaft position

READY TO ROCK AND ROLL ZAC has invested R137-million in the construction of the shaft, which includes the preparation of earthworks, the mining of the boxcut, erecting major infrastructure and acquiring new underground production equipment

29th September 2023

By: Bridget Lepere

Creamer Media Reporter

     

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The construction of the Mngeni shaft of KwaZulu-Natal-based prime anthracite producer Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC) remains on track, on schedule and within budget to deliver first coal by the end of October, with 69 000 m3 of earth having been excavated to date, the miner reports.

Once the shaft is complete, ZAC intends to ramp up operations at the 1.2-million-tonne resource, with targets from 180 000 t/y to 240 000 t/y of anthracite at steady-state production envisioned.

An estimated 120 jobs will be created through the shaft once it is fully operational and will incorporate current ZAC employees, says ZAC assistant GM Wiets Beukes.

ZAC was acquired from diversified miner Rio Tinto by private investment firm Menar in 2016.

ZAC has been operating three shafts since the mine’s acquisition, with the Mngeni shaft being the colliery’s fourth to start operations and representing a project set to explore other undeveloped, but known, resources in the future, he says.

The Mngeni shaft will exploit a high-seam resource of between 2.3 m and 2.6 m, thereby making mining easier. ZAC also mines its low-seam Outcrop shaft, where the mining method is more challenging to execute, owing to the confined spaces.

Beukes adds that the Mngeni shaft is intended to balance ZAC’s current production serving to offset the high cost of low-seam operations that have a depth of less than 1 m.

“The initial development of Mngeni will focus on establishing the crown pillar and accessing the proposed downcast shaft position; after this, Mngeni will develop into a standard mechanised drill-and-blast section to improve output.”

To date, Mngeni’s most notable milestones include rock excavation, erecting major infrastructure such as the workshops, and commissioning other critical infrastructure such as dirty water management systems, potable water systems and electricity supply.

ZAC has invested R137-million in the construction of the shaft, which includes the preparation of earthworks, the mining of the boxcut, major infrastructure and acquiring new underground production equipment.

Beukes highlights that remaining project milestones include accessing the reserves, and shaft and incline conveyor construction, as well as the drop raising of the vent shaft after the shaft pillar has been established.

Edited by Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

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