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Universal Coal successfully commissions second coal mine

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World Coal,

The first phase of Universal Coal’s New Clydesdale Colliery (NCC) coal mine has now been successfully commissioned. This is the second successful commissioning for the company, following the 2.8 million tpy ROM Kangala operation in 2014 and re-positions Universal as a multi-mine coal producer in the domestic and export thermal coal market.

NCC is located in South Africa’s premier coal region in the Witbank basin and will be developed in two phases. Production will initially focus on the Diepspruit underground area. The operation is now ramping up to phase 1 nameplate capacity of 900 000 tpy ROM of export quality thermal coal destined for both domestic and export markets. Full capacity is expected by December 2016.

Over the past few days, the first of the NCC’s three coal handling and processing plants have been successfully commissioned and the second plant is to be commission in the next few days.

Commercial agreement on the Offtake of product has now been finalised with first sales reported to commence later this month.

Tony Weber, Universal Coal’s CEO, commented: “This represents a momentous milestone for Universal Coal and our partners, and is the culmination of the hard work put in by both the management and employees of both NCC, UCEHSA and our contractors on site, in achieving the laid out recommissioning of NCC.”

Weber continued: “With NCC now up and running, we have a second ‘leg’ to stand upon in terms of cash flow sources. We look forward to achieving steady state production for phase 1 before year’s end, as well as progressing the phase 2 open pit operation, which would add a further 2 million tpy ROM to our production profile.”

According to Universal, phase 2 development at NCC is continuing to advance in line with the long-term offtake discussions and will be an opencast development at the adjacent Roodekop project.

Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs

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