Mining investment company Menar and partners have signed an agreement to develop the Riversdale Anthracite Colliery (RAC) project near Vryheid in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

This comes after Menar successfully completed a turnaround of prime anthracite producer Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC), which is situated in the north of the province.

Other partners in the RAC development project include Coalvent and African Onca, which became partners in the project by acquiring Rio Tinto’s shares in RAC.

Once the development is completed, the RAC project will engage in the production of low-sulphur, medium-quality anthracite coal.

“Not only are we bringing into RAC our experience in the extraction of anthracite; we are also bringing our market exposure.”

Based on estimates, the coal deposits contain more than nine million tonnes.

The investment company noted that the project has the potential for further expansion in the future, resulting in an extension to the mine life.

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By GlobalData

Menar managing director Vuslat Bayoglu said: “Our involvement will ensure that this very sound investment, which has a huge potential, is turned into reality when we start operations after all the regulatory processes have been completed.”

The development of RAC is expected to be complementary to the ZAR operations.

Menar chief operating officer Bradley Hammond said: “Not only are we bringing into RAC our experience in the extraction of anthracite; we are also bringing our market exposure. RAC’s products will be complementary to ZAC’s customers, as well as new customers that we target to supply.”

The company acquired ZAC from Rio Tinto in 2016 and supplies products from the operation to international markets, including Brazil and the US.

The Zululand Anthracite Colliery is the sole producer of prime anthracite in South Africa.