The application was submitted in November 2010 and was expected to be granted in the first half of 2012, according to the company’s website.
It is unclear why the process was drawn out and Universal was not contactable for comment before publication.
The project, of which Universal holds a 74% ownership, hosts 82.8Mt of resources, with 67.2 MT measured and 15.6 Mt indicated.
Roodekop is one of three South African thermal coal projects for Universal, and will be the first to target the export market.
The project also has the potential to produce low-phosphorus coal for the metallurgical market.
The company was previously granted the National Environmental Management Act Authorisation and awaits the approval of the Water and Waste Licenses, expected in Q4 2013.
“We are delighted to have secured the mining right over the Roodekop project,” Universal CEO Tony Weber said.
“This takes the company another step closer to bringing our first export thermal coal project into production.”
The news comes as Universal last week announced it had fully funded its Kangala project with the closing of a $14.2 million private placement.
The transaction included some 96 million shares representing a 30% interest in the company.
Coal resources at the site include 74.2Mt measured, 19.5Mt indicated and 33.6Mt inferred resources.