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Coal News

Weekly Commodities Market Wrap

7th February 2022 Coal continues to outperform the rest of the energy complex, although with the northern hemisphere winter nearing an end, the threat of an interruption to Russian energy supplies fades. Crude prices are also shifting higher as $100 Brent looks to be on the cards once more. 

BHP invests further in low-carbon steelmaking

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th February 2022 Diversified miner BHP on Monday announced plans to extend its partnership with the Centre for Ironmaking Materials Research (CIMR) at the University of Newcastle, funding a further A$10-million to support ongoing research into decarbonising steelmaking. The expanded research program will focus... 

Eskom to review need for sustained load-shedding as plant performance improves

By: Terence Creamer     4th February 2022 Eskom reported a material improvement in the performance of its power stations on Friday morning and indicated that it would review, by 17:00, whether it was necessary for it to sustained load-shedding over the weekend. CEO Andre de Ruyter reported that total unplanned losses had reduced to 11... 

Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer
Photo by Creamer Media Chief Photographer Donna Slater
Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer

Hybrid energy systems needed to transition Africa away from coal  

By: Darren Parker     4th February 2022 A combination of renewables, storage and flexible gas are needed to create a stable and resilient energy system that provides a reliable source of electricity while transitioning away from carbon-intensive coal-fired power, marine and energy technology company Wärtsilä Energy Europe and Africa VP... 

A rendering of a hybrid energy solution
Wärtsilä’s hybrid power plants combine flexible engine power plants and energy storage, easily integratable with renewable assets

Australian resource exports rise in 2021 - ABS

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th February 2022 New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown that Australia’s resources and energy exports in 2021 were up almost one-third on the previous year. The ABS’ International Trade in Goods and Services data for December 2021 shows total resources and energy exports were worth... 

Image shows cargo ship being loaded with iron-ore

CCUS could benefit mining’s decarbonisation

By: Theresa Bhowan-Rajah     4th February 2022 With the mining industry’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is a potential mechanism that can significantly decrease the industry’s emissions, states mining law firm Beech Veltman. “Carbon reduction is carried out through various... 

Beech Veltman CEO Warren Beech
WARREN BEECH Carbon capture, utilisation and storage is unlikely to become a reality in the near future

Renewables come in at less than half of what we’re paying for energy – Anglo 

By: Martin Creamer     3rd February 2022 Failure to wholeheartedly embrace the generation of renewable energy is out-and-out business folly. Anglo American and Engie made this perfectly clear on Thursday when they revealed that renewables come in at less than half the price of South Africa’s currently high-priced carbon-intensive power... 

Creamer Media screenshot during webinar
Photo by Creamer Media
From left, Natascha Viljoen, Jonathan Debasc and Fahmida Smith.

Poland coal mine extension breached EU law, EU court adviser says

By: Reuters     3rd February 2022 Poland breached European Union law when extending the life of its Turow lignite mine without assessing the environmental impact, an adviser to Europe's top court said on Thursday, siding with a challenge brought by the Czech government. The adviser's opinion came as leaders of the two EU... 

Atrum keeping Alberta coal dream alive 

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd February 2022 Coal developer Atrum Coal is continuing its information drive for its Elan coal project, in Alberta. The company was last year forced to pause a prefeasibility study for the Elan project after the government of Alberta took a decision to reinstate the previously rescinded Coal Development... 

NUM backs Mantashe in call to sustain coal mining, use

By: Donna Slater     2nd February 2022 Following Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe voicing his concern, on February 1, that South Africa’s coal mining sector cannot diminish and fade away, trade union the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has added its support for efforts to sustain the industry. Currently,... 

Eskom admits to energy rather than capacity constraint as it sheds load to replenish pumped-storage dams  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd February 2022 A recent resurgence of unplanned breakdowns across Eskom’s coal fleet has resulted in a serious depletion of emergency water and diesel reserves to the point where the utility has moved to implement more than six consecutive days of Stage 2 load-shedding. The declaration represents the first bout... 

A picture of an Eskom power station

Resources Watch  

2nd February 2022 This week: South Africa's RBCT exports lowest coal tonnage since 1996; Hydrogen roadmap targeting societal well-being, North West conference told; And, Speed up solar, wind and storage developments – Easton 

Resources Watch Image
Resources Watch

Glencore reports 43% higher ferrochrome production  

By: Martin Creamer     2nd February 2022 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore on Wednesday reported 43% higher ferrochrome production in its full year 2021 production report.   

Picture supplied
Gary Nagle

Mpumalanga just transition being investigated by Ubuntu-hearted solar masterminds  

By: Martin Creamer     1st February 2022 An organisation which is providing un-electrified informal settlements with clean, green solar power in the Western Cape – in Ubuntu-hearted fashion – has begun to investigate just energy transition opportunities in Mpumalanga, where South Africa’s coal-mining and coal-fired power is facing... 

Green power project manager to un-electrified informal settlements Reshmi Wolvers
GreenCape project manager Reshmi Wolvers interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Mantashe rallies coal producers to save industry despite growing climate change concerns  

By: Donna Slater     1st February 2022 Despite South Africa’s significant coal resources, there are “binding constraints” impacting on the future growth of the coal industry – an issue Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says is the coal mining industry’s issue to solve. Speaking at the Coal Colloquium, held at the... 

An image of Gwede Mantashe
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe speaking at the Coal Colloquium on February 1

Indonesia lifts ban on coal exports on improving local supply

By: Bloomberg     1st February 2022 The Indonesian government has lifted a ban on coal exports, ending uncertainty that sent the price of the fuel to this year’s highest level. The ban was lifted on improving supply for local power plants, according to a statement published by Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry on its website... 

MC Mining raises cash

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st February 2022 Triple-listed coal miner MC Mining will raise $5.6-million, or R86-million through a convertible advance and subscription agreement with South Africa-based Senosi Group Investment Holdings Proprietary. Under the agreement, Senosi will subscribe for an initial 38.3-million shares in MC Mining,... 

South Africa needs to embrace Ubuntu principles in going green, webinar hears 

By: Martin Creamer     31st January 2022 In decarbonising and going green, South Africa needs to embrace the principles of Ubuntu and show humanity towards others. That view was expressed by Gold Fields South Africa executive VP Martin Preece during the 'Decarbonisation & Going Green in the Mining Sector' webinar hosted by Creamer Media... 

Screenshot by Creamer Media
Photo by Creamer Media
From top left, clockwise, are Abel Sakhau, Martin Preece, Jevon Martin, Nikisi Lesufi and James Mackay.

Wescoal proposes name change as it seeks to diversify

By: Darren Parker     31st January 2022 JSE-listed coal miner Wescoal Holdings has proposed changing its name to Salungano Group as it plans to diversify. In a statement issued to shareholders on January 31, Wescoal’s board of directors said the new name was chosen to better reflect the company’s diversification strategy, through which... 

A photo of coal
The company can no longer operate as Wescoal, as the name implies it is a coal company.

MC Mining loan due date extended

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st January 2022 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of South Africa has extended MC Mining’s date for repayment of a R160-million loan and accrued interest to November 30, after it fell due for payment on January 31. Additionally, the terminal drawdown date for an additional R245-million has also been... 

Weekly Commodities Market Wrap

31st January 2022 European gas concerns continue to dominate, as traders realise Europe does not have enough port capacity for US LNG to replace Russian pipeline flows. What's more, around 30% of Europe's regasification capacity is in Portugal and Spain, with limited interconnections to European markets. 

ASM logo

Green energy transition will help South Africa become more resilient, competitive   

By: Schalk Burger     28th January 2022 South Africa needs more power generation to overcome the supply gap and underpin economic growth, and investments by private companies, including mining houses, are essential to close that gap. Renewable energy projects provide good economic prospects, help to decarbonise the mining sector and... 

Solar panels installed by Cennergi
Creamer Media on January 28 hosted a webinar on decarbonisation and going green in the mining sector. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Teck increases Covid-19 capital budget for QB2

By: Mariaan Webb     28th January 2022 Diversified mining group Teck Resources has increased Covid-19 capital guidance for the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) project, in Chile, by up to $500-million, citing cost pressures as a result of absenteeism and labour inefficiencies related to the pandemic. The company now assumes that the... 

Hydrogen, coal exports make headlines   

28th January 2022 Mining Weekly Editor Martin Creamer discusses South Africa’s hydrogen roadmap targeting societal well-being; South Africa offsetting losses from the eventual decline in coal export by using hydrogen direct reduced iron technology; and the Richards Bay Coal Terminal's lowest volume of coal exports... 

Photo of Martin Creamer
Hydrogen, coal exports make headlines

Global coal prices surge as Ukraine tensions worsen supply woes

By: Reuters     28th January 2022 Global coal prices have shot back towards record highs as the Ukraine crisis raises expectations that European buyers will start loading up on the fossil fuel for fear that a standoff between Russia and western nations will cut off gas supplies. The benchmark Newcastle coal index has soared by... 

Solving transmission bottlenecks vital for unlocking supply

By: Cameron Mackay     28th January 2022 Overcoming energy transmission congestion is vital to stabilise energy supply in South Africa and, to ensure that energy supply meets demand, transmission assessments and upgrades need to be conducted to allow for energy access from resource-rich solar and wind areas, states renewable-energy... 

Image of EGP RSA country manager William Price
WILLIAM PRICE Many of the country’s load centres are situated in coal production areas, where the transmission grid has been designed to deliver energy to large populations

Prepared to support energy transition

By: Cameron Mackay     28th January 2022 As South Africa prepares to transition to renewable sources of energy, carbon-intensive companies such as coal exporter Thungela can assist in this energy transition by ensuring delivery of higher quality, responsibly-mined coal, states Thungela CEO July Ndlovu. “This transition is going to... 

Image of a haul truck at a water reclamation plant
STAKEHOLDER BENEFITS The eMalahleni Water Reclamation Plant is an example of how mine water can be transformed into an asset with benefits for the local community

Eskom warns of elevated diesel use as system outlook remains precarious  

By: Terence Creamer     27th January 2022 State-owned electricity group Eskom is warning that its use of the country’s diesel-fuelled open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) is set to remain elevated in the coming months as the utility seeks to avoid load-shedding in a context of rising planned maintenance and the ongoing risk of unplanned... 

Group executive for transmission Segomoco Scheppers
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Group executive for transmission Segomoco Scheppers

Anglo increases copper guidance for 2022 as Peru mine comes online

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th January 2022 Global miner Anglo American says its production for the fourth quarter of 2021 was flat compared with output in the fourth quarter of 2020. CEO Mark Cutifani noted on January 27 that operating levels across the group had been at about 95% of normal capacity throughout 2021 as a result of... 

Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani
Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani

Teck’s Elk Valley to deploy zero-emission trucks

By: Creamer Media Reporter      27th January 2022 Canadian diversified miner Teck Resources will deploy 30 Caterpillar zero-emission trucks at its Elk Valley steelmaking coal operations, in British Columbia, as part of a multi-phase approach to decarbonise its vehicle fleet. The 30-strong fleet, which would include Cat 794 ultra-class trucks,... 

Green primary iron could help South Africa offset fall in coal export revenues – study 

By: Terence Creamer     26th January 2022 Producing carbon-free primary iron in South Africa using green hydrogen direct reduced iron (GHDRI) technology could create a new globally competitive green export industry that could help offset the losses associated with the eventual decline in coal exports, a new study shows. Such exports... 

Green primary iron made in South Africa could help global steelmakers lower the cost of their decarbonisation efforts
Photo by Creamer Media
Green primary iron made in South Africa could help global steelmakers lower the cost of their decarbonisation efforts

Europe forced to rely on expensive, dirty coal to keep lights on

By: Bloomberg     26th January 2022 Coal will play a vital role in helping to keep the lights on in Europe this winter even as prices are jumping and lawmakers are doing their best to kill off one of the dirtiest power-plant fuels. Northwest European coal for February rose more than 3% to trade at its highest in three months on... 

South Africa's RBCT exports lowest coal tonnage since 1996  

By: Martin Creamer     25th January 2022 The Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) last year exported its lowest volume of coal since 1996. In exporting 58.72-million tons of coal, RBCT was 11-milion tons down on what it achieved in 2020 and 18-million tons down on its 77-million-ton budget for the 2021 year. 

Creamer Media screenshot.
Richards Bay Coal Terminal media brief covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Bell Equipment supplies 12 ADTs to Ikoti Coal

By: Simone Liedtke     25th January 2022 Twelve locally manufactured B45E articulated dump trucks (ADTs) were recently handed over to locally-owned and -operated miner Alfieri Holdings, which operates Ikoti Coal, in Mpumalanga. These ADTs, industry cluster organisation Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa (Memsa) says, are the... 

Pictured: Enock Mabaso, Zabilon Inama, Gary Bell, Branden Moodley, and Bruce Ndlela.
Pictured: Enock Mabaso, Zabilon Inama, Gary Bell, Branden Moodley, and Bruce Ndlela.

McKinsey pegs the price tag of a livable climate at $9.2tr a year

By: Bloomberg     25th January 2022 A new analysis from McKinsey & Co. estimates that the investment, in new infrastructure and systems, needed to meet international climate goals could be $9.2-trillion a year through 2050. That’s at least $3.5-trillion more a year than the world is currently laying out for both low-carbon and... 

Indonesia starts construction of $2.3bn coal gasification plant

By: Reuters     24th January 2022 Indonesian President Joko Widodo launched construction of a $2.3-billion coal gasification plant on Monday, in a bid to slash the country's liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) imports while optimising its coal resources. The plant is designed to utilise 6-million tonnes of low rank coal to produce 1.4... 

China lets in most of the Australian coal stranded at its ports

By: Bloomberg     24th January 2022 Most of the Australian coal used by steelmakers that was being held at Chinese ports in the wake of Beijing’s import ban has now been cleared, according to local research firm Fengkuang Coal Logistics, although there’s no sign that the halt on new shipments will be lifted. Customs data for the... 

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