May 17, 2020

Coal of Africa and the Makhado Mine project

Dale Benton
2 min
Coal of Africa and the Makhado Mine project
The Makhado mine in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, has been regarded as the “flashpoint for tensions of South Africas pro-coal policies.&rd...

The Makhado mine in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, has been regarded as the “flashpoint for tensions of South Africa’s pro-coal policies.”

Owned by Coal of Africa Ltd, the project clashes with South Africa’s pledge to lower its carbon emissions by 42 percent by 2025, with some critics going as far as to say that things have reached “tipping point.”

Here’s what we know about the Makhado mine project:

The Makhado Project is located in the Makhado Municipality, in the magisterial district  of Vhembe in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The nearest town, Makhado (Louis Trichardt) is situated 35 km south of the project area, with Musina town located 50km to the north of the project area.

The project will produce hard coking and thermal coal through open cast mining. There are currently 172.73 Mt Run of Mine (ROM) reserves in situ which will be mined over the life of mine of 16 years, expected to be mined at an average rate of 12.6Mtpa ROM. There is the potential for expansion underground. The Reserve and Resource statements have been independently reviewed by Venmyn Deloitte. At steady state production, 2.3mtpa hard coking coal and 3.2mtpa thermal coal will be produced.

This represents CoAL’s first project within the Soutpansberg Coalfield area, with the long-term goal to becoming a significant global coking coal producer.  In 2013, studies demonstrated the project’s ability to produce around 2.3Mt of hard coking coal and 3.2Mt of thermal coal annually.

The Makhado Project benefits from excellent existing infrastructure with respect to rail, road, power and port allocation.

• Electricity supply is being secured from existing Eskom infrastructure

• Accessible via existing road network, the coal will be transported to the domestic and export markets by rail, with access to the national rail network through the construction of a 22km rail loop.

The project is Owned by Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL), a South African publicly listed, emerging developer of hard coking and thermal coal resources.

South Africa currently produces 3.7 percent of the global output of coal. The country itself has around 30 billion tonnes of coal, which equates to more than one hundred years’ supply.

Through construction and operation, more than 60 percent of jobs will be filled by people from the local communities. This will be over 3,000 jobs.

The company will also train and develop over 1,000 people at the Makhado Centre of Learning in workplace readiness programmes, digital training, entrepreneurship training and the reduction of imports, and improvement in balance of payments and more.


The January 2017 issue of Mining Global is live!

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Get in touch with our editor Dale Benton at [email protected]

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Jun 29, 2021

Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations

battery metals
2 min
Vale’s $150mn investment in operations at Thompson, Manitoba will extend mine life by 10 years

Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.

Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel

The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.

“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.

“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”

Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba

Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.

“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.

“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”

The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history.  Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.

“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.

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