The figure has increased Continental’s overall compliant coal reserves to 64Mt, up from 20Mt.
Continental said about 75% of the total saleable reserves at the De Wittekrans development would be mined from the proposed underground development, with 23% of the reserves to be mined for the open cut operation.
Continental Coal chief executive officer Don Turvey said the new coal reserve figure was a substantial step forward for the company.
“The De Wittekrans coal project is set to become the company’s largest future mine development,” Turvey said.
“With the bankable feasibility study for the De Wittekrans coal project nearing completion we anticipate realising further positive news on its findings in the current quarter,” he added.
Continental estimates the draft BFS will be compiled by the end of August 2011.
To date, financial modelling on the project has been completed as well as open pit and underground mine optimisation and an infrastructure and rail study.
The project is targeting a run of mine production rate of 3.6-4Mtpa over a 30-year mine life, with targeted export sales of 1.1Mtpa.
Continental has two operating mines in South Africa: Vlakvarkfontein and Ferreira, both producing 2Mtpa of thermal coal.