Universal – which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange – has sought to clarify media reports about the increasing interest in these assets and reiterated that it has not yet received a formal statement or offer from any party.
“The company continues to be in discussions with various equity investors and industrial groups in the steel and power generation sectors regarding its operations in South Africa as part of its ongoing investor relations and communications programs,” it said.
“In December 2011, Universal advised shareholders that the company’s two early-stage coking coal exploration projects in South Africa’s Limpopo province were likely to be the catalyst for substantial and increasing investor interest during 2012.
“The company said in December that the Berenice-Cygnus project, in particular, with a gross in situ resource of 1.3 billion tonnes declared from the first phase of drilling, was already attracting interest.”
Berenice-Cygnus, situated in the emerging Soutpansberg coalfield near the Mozambique and Zimbabwe borders, is located 30km from a railway siding linked to both Maputo and Richards Bay ports.
A second phase of drilling is scheduled to begin in early 2012, and a scoping study commenced in late 2011 at the project.