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Continental Coal granted South African mining right

World Coal,

The South African Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has granted Continental Coal a mining right for the company’s De Wittekrans coal project.

Continental Coal applied for the new order mining right in 2010.

A rail line to Richards Bay

The De Wittekrans coal project is based in the Mpumalanga province, 45 km north of Continental Coal’s Ferreira and Penumbra coal mines and Delta processing facility. It is situated adjacently to the Anthra railway siding, which runs a line to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal

Feasibility study and start of production

Continental’s CEO, Don Turvey, said, “We are delighted with this development. The granting of the mining right for our De Wittekrans coal project represents a significant milestone for the project and the company ahead of taking the project into production over the next twelve months.”

The junior miner completed preliminary optimisation work on the 2011 feasibility study during H1 2013. The study confirmed the economic and technical viability of the De Wittekrans project, identifying the opportunity to enhance the project returns by utilizing existing coal wash plants and rail sidings in the local vicinity.

30 year mine life

Continental Coal have been looking to improve project economics, while reducing capital expenditure necessary to bring the De Wittekrans project to production. The preliminary optimisation work identified the opportunity to develop the project into a major opencast and underground thermal coal mining operation, supplying domestic and international markets for a 30 year LOM.

Thermal coal production

The company expects the project to produce 3.6 million tpa after an initial build-up phase.

The studies undertaken so far have determined a phased development of the project with an initial 7 year opencast mining operation with underground development commencing in the third production year with access from the highwall.

Underground mining of a conventional bord and pillar operation is planned, with six continuous miner sections.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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