JSE-listed Wescoal on Wednesday said it had resumed coal mining, handling and processing activities at the Vanggatfontein mine as of May 20 and that the mine was expected to ramp up to full production in early June – two weeks ahead of schedule.
In late April, the coal producer was forced to halt coal supplies from the mine to Eskom after the mining contractor dismissed its 274 employees at the mine over unlawful industrial action.
At the time, Wescoal had expected production at the mine to remain suspended for up to eight weeks.
Meanwhile, Wescoal on Wednesday further announced that it would, through its Keaton Energy subsidiary, buy Dan Lucas Sikhosana and Anna Percy Sikhosana’s 18.2% interest in Neosho Trading 86, which is the owner of the Moabsvelden project, for R24.5-million.
Keaton already owns a 74% interest in Neosho. It is also in discussions with a minority shareholder regarding the proposed buyout of the remaining 7.8% interest in Neosho.
The Moabsvelden project, which is located near Vanggatfontein, has a 47.8-million-tonne resource and there is potential to develop it into a 1.5-million- to 2-million-tonne-a-year run-of-mine (RoM) operation.
The project is fully permitted and there is capacity for the coal it produces to be processed at facilities at Vanggatfontein or to be sold directly as a crush-and-screen RoM product.
Wescoal is in negotiations with potential customers, including State-owned power utility Eskom, regarding potential coal offtake or supply agreements.