Vele colliery back on track

COAL of Africa’s Vele coking coal colliery near Mapungubwe has restarted production after a licence suspension preventing mining activities was lifted.
Vele colliery back on track Vele colliery back on track Vele colliery back on track Vele colliery back on track Vele colliery back on track

Courtesy Coal of Africa.

Lauren Barrett

During the December 2011 quarter, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs lifted the suspension of the integrated water use licence, enabling the use of water and the recommencement of construction activities.

Following the recommencement of mining, the Vele mine produced 3200 tonnes run of mine coal.

Coal of Africa chief executive officer John Wallington said the mining extraction start-up at Vele was a significant milestone for the company.

“With the IWUL suspension lifted at Vele Colliery, the remaining construction of the mine and plant and establishment of infrastructure was completed by the end of the quarter, facilitating the commencement of mining activities with approximately 3200 tonnes of ROM coal extracted from the open cast pit and stockpiled at the plant,” he said.

Meanwhile, its Mooiplaats colliery had a disappointing quarter, with ROM production totalling 262,004t for the quarter, down from 301,788t in the previous quarter.

COA attributed the decline in ROM production to the short December month coupled with challenging mining conditions and infrastructure availability issues.

Production at its Vuna colliery also slid to 821,392t ROM for the quarter, down from 898,141t in the previous quarter.

During the quarter, the company also signed a historic memorandum of understanding with the Save Mapungubwe Coalition to help preserve the cultural landscape surrounding its Vele coal project.

The coalition consists of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, Birdlife South Africa, Wilderness Foundation South Africa, World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa, Mapungubwe Action Group and the Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists.

As part of the agreement, Coal of Africa agreed to share information related to the environmental impacts of its Vele project.