More help for junior mines

30th June 2000 By: System Author

A one-day symposium on junior coal ventures in South Africa is being held today.

Organised by the Fossil Fuel Foundation (FFF), the event focuses on the growth, strengths, opportunities and legal issues surrounding junior coal ventures in the country.

Subjects covered include an overview of the Department of Minerals and Energy’s mining policy and legislation, reflections on the state of black economic empowerment in the mining industry, and a look at contract mining as an aid to launching new mining ventures.

The main aim of the symposium is to apply the knowledge acquired from the traditional, large coal-mining operations to the new collieries, which will be launched as a result of economic empowerment policies.

“At present, junior coal-mining ventures show great potential, but some lack certain of the elements necessary to make them economically viable,” reports FFF spokesperson Xavier Prevost.

“The symposium was organised to transfer expertise that exists within the coal industry to the many possible new coal-mine entrepreneurs,” he tells Mining Weekly.

South Africa’s coal industry has reached a point where large blocks of high-quality reserves are no longer available, apart from the portfolios of big producers, continues Prevost.

Production of mines generating the bulk of the country’s coal output is d ecreasing, and few have new areas for future development.

Junior coal ventures, properly conducted, fill the gap left by large traditional producers, maintains Prevost.