The South Africa-focused company announced on Friday that the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism had granted the authorization in terms of the National Environmental Management Act and the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations.
CoAL executive chairman David Brown said the approval was positive next step for the project’s development.
“We welcome the decision by LEDET, which is a further step towards achieving full regulatory compliance for the Makhado project and enabling meaningful contribution to the socioeconomic transformation of the Limpopo Province,” Brown said.
The definitive feasibility study for the company’s flagship Makhado project in South Africa’s Soutpansberg coalfield said the project was shaping up to be a large coking and thermal coal operation with a 16-year mine life.
It confirmed mining was expected to take place at an average rate of 12.6 million tons per annum run of mine coal in order to produce 2.3Mtpa of hard coking coal and 3.2Mtpa of thermal coal.
CoAL said it planned to mine the mineable 344.8Mt in situ resource on an open cast basis with the potential for expansion into an underground operation.
The company aims to complete its regulatory approval and funding requirements by the first half of 2014, with full production from 2017.
CoAL is a tri-listed coal exploration, development and mining company operating in South Africa.
The company’s key projects include the Vele colliery (coking and thermal coal) and the Greater Soutpansberg project, including CoAL’s Makhado coking coal project.