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Coal News

Mboweni warns extra R59bn allocated to Eskom comes at 'huge' cost to fiscus 

By: Kim Cloete     23rd July 2019 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has allocated an additional R26-billion to debt-ridden Eskom for 2019/20 and R33-billion for 2020/21 in a bid to help the utility meet its financial obligations. “Eskom’s funding plan is dependent on Eskom raising additional finance from the market, which in turn... 

Universal reports 19% rise in production

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd July 2019 Coal miner Universal Coal has reported a 19% increase in production during the three months to June, compared with the previous corresponding period, on the back of the integration of the North Block Complex, in South Africa. Run-of-mine production for the quarter reached 2.4-million tonnes,... 

Coal to Newcastle: Residents say mine puts them in danger

By: News24Wire      22nd July 2019 Residents of Blaauwbosch village in Newcastle, who live near an old coal mine where informal mining takes place, say they are fed up with empty promises by the government and local politicians. They told GroundUp they want to be moved elsewhere. The residents say the walls of their houses are... 

India may negate distinction between captive coal, commercial mining

By: Ajoy K Das     22nd July 2019 India’s Coal Ministry is working on a proposal to negate the legal distinction between captive coal mines operated by user industries and commercial mining by private merchant miners. The move to bring captive mines and commercial coal mining under the same legal framework has been prompted by... 

South Africa allocates extra R59bn for cash-strapped Eskom 

By: Reuters     22nd July 2019 The South African government has made an extra R59-billion available to State-owned power utility Eskom over the next two years so it can meet its obligations, a Special Appropriation Bill seen by Reuters on Monday showed. Eskom, which supplies more than 90% of the country's electricity but has... 

South Africa allocates extra R59bn for cash-strapped Eskom

Blackhawk files Chapter 11, joins list of bankrupt coal miners

By: Bloomberg     22nd July 2019 Blackhawk Mining filed for Chapter 11 court protection in Delaware, adding to a growing list of bankrupt coal miners. The Lexington, Kentucky-based company in court documents listed more than $1-billion in debt, compared to $165-million in Ebitda last year. Details of the filing were reported... 

South Africa set to name 'bad cop' to oversee Eskom rescue  

By: Bloomberg     19th July 2019 Of all the executives, government officials and consultants being recruited to tackle the mammoth task of rescuing South Africa’s state power utility, the toughest task could fall to the person who has to take it apart. President Cyril Ramaphosa last month said a soon-to-be appointed chief... 

British Columbia’s coal deposits to be studied for rare earths

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th July 2019 Geoscience BC has announced a new project to examine how rare-earth elements (REEs) – crucial to personal electronics, renewable energy generation and defence technologies – could be extracted from the province’s coal deposits and coal tailings facilities. Coal deposits have been identified and... 

Mining construction using safe, quality materials

By: Theresa Bhowan     19th July 2019 With the extensive range of fully serrated, multi-directional non-slip floor gratings, stair treads and safety handrails that manufacturer Vital Engineering supplies, the company is involved in several projects where it supplies mines with mild steel, galvanised steel and stainless-steel products... 

Mining construction using safe, quality materials
SECURE STEPS Vital’s range of floor gratings reduces the potential for accidents caused by slippage

Edenville expects to be cash positive within next nine months

By: Simone Liedtke     18th July 2019 Coal mining has now started in the new northern mining area of Aim-listed Edenville Energy’s flagship Rukwa coal project, in Tanzania. CEO Rufus Short on Thursday said that, as the project was developed further, the company expected significant quantities of coal could be extracted from the area. 

Does renewables pioneer Germany risk running out of power?

By: Reuters     18th July 2019 Germany, a poster child for responsible energy, is renouncing nuclear and coal. The problem is, say many power producers and grid operators, it may struggle to keep the lights on. The country, the biggest electricity market in the European Union, is abandoning nuclear power by 2022 due to safety... 

Does renewables pioneer Germany risk running out of power?

Stanmore posts record quarter

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th July 2019 Coal miner Stanmore Coal has reported record saleable production for the three months to June, with a 130% increase in saleable coal production, compared with the previous corresponding period. Saleable coal production for the June quarter reached 721 000 t, up from the 314 000 t reported in... 

South32 reports strong end to FY2019

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th July 2019 Diversified miner South32 has reported a strong finish to the 2019 financial year, with revenue equivalent production growing by 10% in the June quarter and by 3% in the full year, while record production was achieved at the Hillside aluminium operation, and metallurgical coal production from the... 

South32 reports strong end to FY2019
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

Zululand Anthracite Colliery appoints first black GM

By: Nadine James     17th July 2019 Mining investment company Menar’s Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC) subsidiary has appointed Siyabonga Mathonsi as its first black GM since mining operations began in 1987. His appointed is effective July 15. 

 Zululand Anthracite Colliery appoints first black GM
Siyabonga Mathonsi

SCA president dismisses Atha-Africa’s appeal

By: Nadine James     17th July 2019 The judgment of the Pretoria High Court in favour of a civil society coalition defending an Mpumalanga Strategic Water Source Area has been upheld, despite mining company Atha-Africa Ventures’ third attempt to have it set aside. Supreme Court of Appeal president Mandisa Maya dismissed the appeal... 

Fixing Eskom will result in higher taxes, electricity prices – economist

By: Irma Venter     17th July 2019 There is little doubt that the taxpayer will be left footing the bill for the problems experienced at power supplier Eskom, and probably so through higher electricity prices and increased taxes. Over the last decade-plus, Eskom has seen generation capacity increase only slightly, with the amount... 

Fixing Eskom will result in higher taxes, electricity prices – economist
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Absa research head and chief economist Jeff Gable

BHP reports solid FY19

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th July 2019 Diversified giant BHP has exceeded its full-year production guidance for petroleum, while hitting its revised targets for both iron-ore and copper output in the year ended June. CEO Andrew Mackenzie told shareholders on Wednesday that BHP finished the 2019 financial year with an 11% increase in... 

BHP reports solid FY19
BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie

Palmietkuilen nears final approval, company liaising with community

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th July 2019 Exploration and mining company Canyon Coal’s proposed Palmietkuilen openpit coal mine, in Springs, Gauteng, is in the final stages of regulatory approval and the company hopes to begin mining before the end of the year. Canyon Coal is a subsidiary of mining investment company Menar. 

MC secures funding for Makhado Phase 1 construction

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th July 2019 The Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa’s (IDC’s) credit committee has approved a R245-million loan facility for ASX-, Aim- and JSE-listed MC Mining for the construction of Phase 1 of its Makhado hard coking coal project, in South Africa’s Limpopo province. The term loan reaffirms... 

MC secures funding for Makhado Phase 1 construction
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
MC CEO David Brown

Adani wins native title battle

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th July 2019 The Federal Court of Australia has dismissed a native title challenge to Indian major Adani’s Carmichael coal project, in Queensland. The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) People in 2016 voted 294 to 1 in favour of an indigenous land use agreement for the Carmichael project, with the agreement inked... 

Adani wins native title battle

Fading US utility demand for coal to hit Powder River Basin hardest

By: Mariaan Webb     12th July 2019 While the outlook for the US coal industry over the next 12 to 18 months is stable, fading utility demand in the 2020-to-2030 decade will drive the ongoing contraction of the domestic coal industry, presenting a significant challenge for US coal miners. Last year, utilities consumed about 84% of... 

Fading US utility demand for coal to hit Powder River Basin hardest

Proactive maintenance saves mines reactive costs

By: Tracy Hancock     12th July 2019 US condition-based monitoring device supplier SpotSee is in the process of obtaining certification in Africa for its Wi-Fi radio, which enables its OpsWatch vibration monitoring system to stream condition-based data to central operations through a Web-hosted platform. The system can detect... 

Proactive maintenance saves mines reactive costs
DON’T BE REACTIVE Having measures in place to predict pending failures, enables mining companies to be proactive and stay ahead of problems instead of waiting to react and, as a result, spending capital to solve them

Cost savings crucial amid local industry decline

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     12th July 2019 The local mining industry declined by 10.8% in the first quarter of this year and the industry is on a huge cost-saving run, says bearings and power transmission products distributor Bearings International (BI) mining business development leader Shaun Combrinck. He tells Mining Weekly that BI is... 

Cost savings crucial amid local industry decline
EXTENDED COUPLING RANGE The Ringfeder-Henfel-Hernflex split flexible coupling is one of Bearings International’s new product offerings

Much demand for Africa-tough drive package

By: Tracy Hancock     12th July 2019 Drive engineering company SEW-Eurodrive has more active projects in the rest of Africa, than in South Africa, exports head Marcio Sicchiero tells Mining Weekly. Involved in the delivery of conveyor drive assemblies to various greenfield and expansion projects across a range of commodities on the... 

BHP is latest giant miner to plan exit from thermal coal

By: Bloomberg     11th July 2019 BHP Group is moving ahead with plans to exit thermal coal, according to people familiar with the matter, the latest move by the world’s biggest miners to retreat from the dirtiest fuel. BHP is looking at options to divest the business that includes assets in Australia and Colombia, said the... 

BHP is latest giant miner to plan exit from thermal coal

Gordhan says draft Eskom unbundling White Paper to be finalised soon 

By: Terence Creamer     11th July 2019 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says a draft White Paper outlining government’s approach to the unbundling of State-owned power utility Eskom, as well as how its “unsustainable” debt burden will be managed, is being prepared and should be finalised within weeks. Gordhan made the... 

Gordhan says draft Eskom unbundling White Paper to be finalised soon
Photo by Creamer Media
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Rand strengthens as Eskom proposal soothes traders’ nerves

By: Bloomberg     11th July 2019 The rand rose to the strongest level since February after Eskom Holdings biggest bondholder was said to have a rescue plan for the state-owned company. The currency, which was already being buoyed by a global rally, added as much as 0.9%, bringing the dollar-rand pair close to crossing below its... 

IRP will serve before Cabinet only in September as Nedlac process drags on 

By: Terence Creamer     11th July 2019 The long-awaited update to the Integrated Resource Plan for electricity is only likely to serve before Cabinet in September, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe reported on Thursday. The minister said that the draft IRP was still being considered by the social partners at the... 

IRP will serve before Cabinet only in September as Nedlac process drags on
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

PGM investment, carbon tax and lower cost electricity make headlines  

11th July 2019 This week Mining Weekly editor Martin Creamer unpacks the Mirai Creation fund, carbon tax and lower cost electricity.   

PGM investment, carbon tax and lower cost electricity make headlines
Mining Weekly Editor unpacks this week's Second Take headlines. (Camera & editing: Nicholas Boyd)

Whitehaven's production surpasses expectation

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th July 2019 Coal miner Whitehaven Coal’s run-of-mine (ROM) production for the full year ended June has exceeded its expectations, following a record year from its Maules Creek mine. ROM production for the full year had been estimated at between 21.8-million and 22.8-million tonnes, however, Whitehaven on... 

Coal exports reach record highs in Qld

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th July 2019 Coal exports from Queensland set a new record in June this year, with 21.43-million tonnes of metallurgical and thermal coal exported during the month, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) revealed on Thursday. QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane said the 11% increase on the same month last year... 

Corsa Coal CEO resigns

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th July 2019 US metallurgical coal miner Corsa Coal announced on Tuesday that CEO George Dethlefsen would step down from his position on July 12, to pursue other opportunities. The company, which trades on the TSX-V, said in a media statement that Dethlefsen's departure was not the result of any dispute or... 

Coal India starts financial year with flat production growth

By: Ajoy K Das     10th July 2019 Coal India Limited (CIL) has recorded almost flat growth in production during April to June, putting under a cloud the government’s ambitious target for the miner to achieve an 8.5% growth for the current financial year. The State-run miner produced 137-million tons during the first three months... 

Eskom has yet another headache – an $813m a year carbon tax bill

By: Bloomberg     10th July 2019 South Africa’s troubled state-owned power utility has yet another thing to worry about – a big carbon tax bill expected to kick in from 2023. Eskom Holdings, which has been forced to turn to the government for bailouts to meet its obligations, mostly burns coal to generate power and is one of the... 

‘Weak’ carbon tax to be significantly strengthened from 2023 – Treasury official 

By: Terence Creamer     9th July 2019 A leading National Treasury official has warned industry to prepare for a significant strengthening of South Africa’s carbon tax during the second phase of implementation, which will begin in January 2023, describing the first phase, which came into force on June 1, as “weak”. South Africa’s... 

‘Weak’ carbon tax to be significantly strengthened from 2023 – Treasury official
Photo by Creamer Media
National Treasury deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat

Kibo changes MCPP mining licence application approach

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th July 2019 Aim- and JSE-listed Kibo Energy has decided to convert its application for a special mining licence (SML) for the Mbeya coal-to-power project (MCPP), in Tanzania, to seven mining licences. It said on Tuesday that the decision had been taken in the interest of a "better economic outcome for all... 

Wyoming honours reclamation efforts at Arch Coal’s Black Thunder

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th July 2019 US coal miner Arch Coal’s Black Thunder mine has been awarded the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) reclamation award, an accolade that president and COO Paul Lang said on Tuesday was a “great honour for the men and women at the mine”. "We applaud the exceptional efforts of the... 

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