“The Mooiplaats thermal coal project is on track to produce saleable export quality coal early in the new financial year and I am confident that production on the Vele coking coal project will commence by the end of 2009,” CoAL managing director Simon Farrell said.
“We have managed to remove a major infrastructure challenge faced by bulk commodity miners in securing sufficient port and rail allocation, guaranteeing our ability to export coal to the more lucrative international markets.”
In its March quarterly update, the triple-listed company said progress on the Mooiplaats underground and surface infrastructure continued on schedule.
The incline conveyor belt linking the underground operations to the surface infrastructure has been commissioned, allowing transport of coal to stockpiles. Remaining conveyor belts will be completed by early next quarter.
Development of underground infrastructure was delayed due to a dyke, however CoAL said by the end of March the two continuous miners had progressed more than 150 metres, yielding 16,900 tonnes of coal.
Phase one of the wash plant will be commissioned at the end of this month by operator Kwena Processing, while Portacline will construct the second phase of the plant.
Discussions with third parties on the use of coal sidings is expected to be wrapped up by the end of this month, while long-term offtake agreement negotiations for thermal export coal are ongoing. Discussions over sale of lower-quality thermal coal to Eskom continue.
At the Vele coking coal project, studies for the environmental impact assessment and management plan have been completed.
A letter of intent for the supply of a modular plant was sent to ELB Group during the quarter, while GRD Minproc will complete a feasibility study on the Vele project with results expected by August.
CoAL closed up 1.3% yesterday to $A1.65.