Exploration and development firm Universal Coal has started mining of the first run of mine (ROM) coal at the Kangala mine located in the Witbank coalfield, South Africa.
The Kangala mine will produce 2.1 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of saleable thermal coal per year, of which 2 Mtpa has been allocated to electric utility Eskom.
The remaining thermal product will be allocated for export with South African coal miner Exxaro.
Universal Coal is installing a BC1/BC2 circuit at the Kangala mine processing plant, which is expected to deliver first production in February 2014.
The majority of the coal allocated to Eskom will pass via the completed BC1/BC2 crushing and screening plant, which is scheduled to start commissioning in December 2013.
The company has delivered the first raw coal to the processing plant for use as a base for the product stockpiles while the pollution control dam is due to be ready to accept water towards mid-November 2013.
According to the company, the boxcut, which started in July 2013, remains on track, with the upper most coal seam having been exposed.
The first ROM coal schedule from the pit will be used for the base of the product stockpiles to prevent contamination at a later stage, while the remaining box-cut coal will be utilised during the commissioning of crushing and screening plant in December 2013.
Located in the Mpumalanga province, the Kangala mine is Universal Coal's first thermal coal operation.
The project features three properties, including Wolvenfontein, Middelbult and Modderfontein, and contains thermal coal largely suitable for the domestic power generation market.
Universal Coal has five coal projects in South Africa with 1.9 billion tonnes of JORC resources covering thermal and coking coal, of which more than one billion tonnes is attributable to the company.
Image: The Kangala mine, located in the Mpumalanga province, is Universal Coal's first thermal coal operation. Photo: Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.