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South Africa could designate coal a strategic mineral

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World Coal,

The South African minister of mines has suggested that he may declare coal a “strategic” mineral when the revised Minerals and Petroleum Development Act (MPRDA) is signed into law by President Jacob Zuma.

Although unwilling to formally confirm what minerals may be considered strategic, Ngaoko Ramatlhodl said that iron or and coal were “obvious” contenders.

The move would require the energy mineral to be sold at production cost minus transportation – “that is the mine-gate cost,” Ramatlhodi is quoted by Reuters as saying.

Coal plays a vital role in South Africa’s power industry, which currently relies on the mineral for more than 80% of its electricity generation. "There is coal for export and coal of a lesser quality, which stays in the country. That we would want to keep for our power stations."

South Africa produced 257 million t of coal in 2013, making the country the 7th largest producer in the world with 3.3% of the global total. Exports reached a record 78.2 million t – about 30% of production.

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