JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The first test train had arrived at Aim- and ASX-listed Beacon Hill Resources’ Tete coal loading facility, in Mozambique, and 2 600 t of coal was loaded under test conditions, the company said on Wednesday.
Beacon Hill carried out the trial exercise in conjunction with Jindal Steel and Power (JPSL), its joint venture partner in the $6-million loading facility, which covered a total stockpile area of 7 ha, with dedicated stockpile areas for Beacon Hill and JPSL and two rail lines.
Work on the site was continuing with the aim to have a fully operational facility in place by the end of the first quarter of 2014, the company added.
“The commissioning of the loading facility is a major milestone for the company while we wait for [the] first delivery of our own rolling stock,” Beacon Hill rail operations manager Mac van der Merwe said.
The company’s five new 2 240 kW diesel locomotives, which were being supplied by RRL Grindrod would be completed by the end of this month, while 90 Transnet Engineering rail wagons were expected to arrive in the Port of Beira by the end of January.
“The final installation of on-board computers will allow the fleet to go on rail immediately and communicate with the train operations centre in Beira. The train drivers, crews and support personnel required for the running of the trains have also been trained by RRL Grindrod and [all have] completed the certified facility manager accreditation process during August,” Beacon Hill said.
Meanwhile, all permitting requirements for the development of the Beira offloading facility had been completed, with the remaining simplified environmental report expected to be completed by the end of November.
Thereafter, the company intended to start construction activity on the site.
"We are very pleased with the strong progress made towards [the] final commissioning of our rail logistics solution in Tete and look forward to the positive cost implications incurred following completion.
“Our current focus for Minas Moatize is to build the mine to become a tier one coking coal asset and this will represent an important milestone towards this goal. We look forward to updating the market regarding both our logistics and wash plant upgrades in the coming months," Beacon Hill CEO Rowan Karstel commented.