Exxaro Resources Anticipates Higher Level of Thermal Coal Exports than Predicted
Exxaro Resources, the South Africa-based mining company, is expecting to see an increase in its thermal coal exports.
The prediction was made by Finance Director Wim de Klerk In a Coal Commodity review issued by the company in advance of the publication of its interim financial results due on August 21, which will give a full round up of the company’s first half-year performance.
It states that the total expected full year export volumes are estimated to be higher than the previously guided 4.5 million tonnes (Mt), although he did not specify a figure at this time.
Production volumes for the first half of 2014 are expected to be marginally lower than the second half of 2013 due to lower off-take from Matimba resulting in Grootegeluk cutting back production due to full stockpiles, production interruptions at Matla, lower production at Inyanda and cessation of production at the New Cydesdale Colliery.
Overall production volumes are expected to be marginally higher than the first half of 2013 mainly due to increase at Matla, Gootegeluk and Leeuwpan.
Sales to South Africa’s utility Eskom are expected to be lower than the second half of 2013 due to few units running at Matimba and production difficulties at Matla. However, Eskom sales volumes are expected to remain stable in comparison to first half of 2013.
The report also revealed that state logistics company Transnet Freight Rail’s rate for January to May had been 60.6 million mt/year despite being hit by power outages and the annual 10-week long rail maintenance stoppage.
Exxaro Mining said the demand in the internal coal markets was generally holding up well amidst the global drive for energy efficiency and energy mix changes required by various countries.
Both global thermal and metallurgical markets, are however, over supplied and some of the supply side factors are structural.
This, it said, may even prolong the current imbalance between supply and demand and pricing is forecasted to be generally flat for the rest of the year.
Exxaro is one of the largest South Africa-based diversified resources groups, with interests in the coal, titanium dioxide, ferrous and energy markets and current business interests in South Africa, Botswana, Republic of the Congo, Inner Mongolia and Australia.
The company is the second-largest coal producer in South Africa and is listed on the JSE Limited, where it is a constituent of both the Top 40 and Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) indices.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
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.