Improved production figures for Continental mines

CONTINENTAL Coal’s Vlakvarkfontein coal mine in South Africa has reported above-budget run of mine coal production of 112,281 tonnes in April, a 6% increase on the 105,838t of monthly average ROM coal production achieved during the March 2012 quarter.
Improved production figures for Continental mines Improved production figures for Continental mines Improved production figures for Continental mines Improved production figures for Continental mines Improved production figures for Continental mines

Production at the Vlakvarkfontein mine, image courtesy of Continental Coal.

Lou Caruana

Domestic thermal coal sales of 93,180t were slightly higher than the average 92,761t of monthly sales reported in the March quarter.

Year-to-date ROM coal production of 1 million tonnes has so far been achieved, with an unaudited net profit after tax of 33.6 million South African rand by Ntshovelo Mining Resources, the entity that operates the Vlakvarkfontein coal mine.

It reported unaudited revenue for April 2012 of R17.1 million, in line with the average monthly revenue of R17.1 million in the previous quarter.

Continental Coal’s Ferreira coal mine reported ROM coal production of 55,263t for the month of April, which is 25% above budget and a 4% increase on the average 53,829t monthly ROM coal production in the March quarter.

Total production of 37,830t of a high quality export thermal coal product was achieved at Continental’s Delta processing operations for the month of April.

Development activities at the Penumbra coal mine continued in April 2012, with the primary focus on the advance of the twin declines by decline development contractor Murray & Roberts, following completion by Leomat during the month of the civil contract.

Orders for the medium and low-voltage containerised substations and switchgear were placed during the month, with the adjudication of the tender of the upcast ventilation fan switchgear also completed.

Murray & Roberts continued the twin decline development, with the declines advanced 58m during the month of April 2012 to a combined total length of 135m.

The conveyor road advanced down 79m and the travelling road down 56m.

During the month, minor problems with the soft floors impacted decline advance rates, however, measures were put in place by the company and Murray & Roberts to address this.

Key underground equipment from Joy Mining Machinery started to arrive onsite in April 2012, with the first 100m of the incline conveyor stringers and idlers.

Additional equipment is scheduled to arrive throughout the current quarter.

The Penumbra coal mine is set to become the company’s third thermal coal mining operation in South Africa.

Sales of 500,000 tonnes per annum of a high quality export thermal coal product are forecast to be sold free-on-board at Richards Bay coal terminal at forecast average total cash costs of R490 a tonne and generating annual free cashflow of approximately $US23 million, based on prevailing prices.

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