Cold commissioning of the BC1/BC2 circuit of the processing plant was completed in December, allowing hot commissioning to start. That circuit will take the bulk of the mine’s coal.
The box-cut continues to progress, with coal having been mined and sent to run-of-mine stockpiles at the plant over the past three months.
The BC1/BC2 seam, which constitutes the majority of the coal at Kangala, is being used to hot commission the crushing and screening plant.
Coal will be treated using a dual processing circuit comprising the dense-medium separation washing, and BC1/BC2 crushing and screening.
First coal was due to pass through the crushing and screening circuit on January 23.
Optimisation of the plant is continuing to ensure efficient operation prior to maiden production in February.
Offsite construction of the DMS plant is progressing well and is ahead of schedule. Delivery and installation of the DMS plant is due to start in mid-February.
The mine is connected to Eskom power grid and all operations needing electricity are drawing from the internal power reticulation system.
The lining of the pollution control dam is complete and polluted water from the pit is being pumped into the dam. Dirty water cut-off drains are being built to divert any polluted water into the dam.
The paved product delivery haul road is on schedule, with construction of the intersection with the R42 public road starting.
Installation of the black top surface of the road has also begun.
Drawdown on the Kangala Mine Project Finance Facility from Rand Merchant Bank continues in line with forecasts.
According to Universal Coal the project remains within capital budget estimates and there are no indications of any potential cost overruns.
Kangala is expected to produce 2.1 million tonnes per annum of saleable thermal coal with 2Mtpa allocated for South African electricity utility Eskom. The remaining 100,000tpa will be allocated for export with South African coal miner Exxaro.
At a capital cost of $A46.8 million, the operation is expected to supply an estimated average of $A15 million earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation per year.