Universal Coal has started production at its New Clydesdale Colliery (NCC) in South Africa’s coal region in the Witbank basin.

NCC represents the company’s second coal operation.

First production of run-of-mine (ROM) coal occurred from the Diepspruit underground area at NCC and the first continuous miner section is set to come on-stream soon.

The latest production is in line with the company’s recent proposal to deliver the first coal sales from NCC this month.

“Expected production from the NCC phase I underground operation is 900,000tpa.”

Expected production from the NCC phase I underground operation is 900,000tpa ROM in export quality thermal coal, which will be shipped to export markets.

Production is set to be increased to full capacity before the end of this year.

Phase II development at the mine, which continues to advance in line with long-term offtake discussions, will be an open-pit development next to the Roodekop project. This phase is expected to deliver up to a further two million tonnes per annum ROM of domestic or export quality thermal coal.

UNV previously announced that coal mining contractor STA Coal Mining has been appointed and is responsible for underground mining at NCC.

Ingwenya Mineral Processing was appointed in August to refurbish the coal handling and processing plant (CHPP), will commission the processing facilities by the end of this month.