Exxaro Resources Approves New $357-M Coal Mine in South Africa
Exxaro Resources has announced the approval of a new $357 million coal mine in South Africa. The mine will produce coal for export and to supply one of the state-owned power utility’s plants.
According to the company’s press statement the project in the Mpumalanga province will “encompass one of the last high-quality reserves” in the region and “present Exxaro with an opportunity for excellent returns.”
The new mine is expected to produce an average of 2.2 million metric tons of A-grade export coal a year. The mine is forecasted to start output in the second half of 2017, the company said. A portion of the approved spending will only be allowed once Exxaro gets the necessary licenses and regulatory approvals.
The feasibility study for Thabametsi North Phase 1 will start in the third quarter and should be completed by mid-2015. The first phase of the project, which was first announced last year, will co-incide with the development of a 600-megawatt power plant being developed by France’s GDF Suez SA.
Based in South Africa, Exxaro Resources manages seven coal mines in the country and produces almost 40 million tons annually. The company currently supplies all the power-station coal it produces to Eskom.
Exxaro Resources announced last week it was expecting to see an increase in its thermal coal exports with estimates to be higher than the previous year.
Unmanned train to allow Vale to reopen iron ore plant
Brazilian miner Vale SA will be able to resume operations at its Timbopeba iron ore dry processing plant in up to two months thanks to the use of an unmanned train, the company said in a statement this week.
Vale - Timbopeba iro ore plant
With the train, Timbopeba will be able to operate at least at 80% of its capacity of 33,000 tonnes of iron ore “fines” per day, reports Reuters.
Vale was forced to shut down the plant in the Alegria mine complex recently after labor authorities in Minas Gerais state banned activities close to the Xingu dam due to concerns of a risk of collapse.
Vale said access by workers and vehicles continues to be suspended in the flood zone of the dam due to the ban even though it remains at emergency level 2, which means there no imminent risk of rupture.
But some workers are allowed entry under strict security precautions and they will get the unmanned train going once it has been tested, which would take between one and two months, the company said.
The unmanned train will travel automatically along 16 kilometers (10 miles) of track operated by a system that can control the speed and activate the brakes, Vale said.
Vale announces first ore at Voisey’s Bay mine extension
Vale has reached the milestone of first ore production at the Reid Brook deposit at the Voisey’s Bay mine expansion project in Northern Labrador, Canada - recognised as the safest mine in Canada.