Coal of Africa and the Makhado Mine project

By Dale Benton
The Makhado mine in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, has been regarded as the “flashpoint for tensions of South Africas pro-coal policies.&rd...

The Makhado mine in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, has been regarded as the “flashpoint for tensions of South Africa’s pro-coal policies.”

Owned by Coal of Africa Ltd, the project clashes with South Africa’s pledge to lower its carbon emissions by 42 percent by 2025, with some critics going as far as to say that things have reached “tipping point.”

Here’s what we know about the Makhado mine project:

The Makhado Project is located in the Makhado Municipality, in the magisterial district  of Vhembe in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The nearest town, Makhado (Louis Trichardt) is situated 35 km south of the project area, with Musina town located 50km to the north of the project area.

The project will produce hard coking and thermal coal through open cast mining. There are currently 172.73 Mt Run of Mine (ROM) reserves in situ which will be mined over the life of mine of 16 years, expected to be mined at an average rate of 12.6Mtpa ROM. There is the potential for expansion underground. The Reserve and Resource statements have been independently reviewed by Venmyn Deloitte. At steady state production, 2.3mtpa hard coking coal and 3.2mtpa thermal coal will be produced.

This represents CoAL’s first project within the Soutpansberg Coalfield area, with the long-term goal to becoming a significant global coking coal producer.  In 2013, studies demonstrated the project’s ability to produce around 2.3Mt of hard coking coal and 3.2Mt of thermal coal annually.

The Makhado Project benefits from excellent existing infrastructure with respect to rail, road, power and port allocation.

• Electricity supply is being secured from existing Eskom infrastructure

• Accessible via existing road network, the coal will be transported to the domestic and export markets by rail, with access to the national rail network through the construction of a 22km rail loop.

The project is Owned by Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL), a South African publicly listed, emerging developer of hard coking and thermal coal resources.

South Africa currently produces 3.7 percent of the global output of coal. The country itself has around 30 billion tonnes of coal, which equates to more than one hundred years’ supply.

Through construction and operation, more than 60 percent of jobs will be filled by people from the local communities. This will be over 3,000 jobs.

The company will also train and develop over 1,000 people at the Makhado Centre of Learning in workplace readiness programmes, digital training, entrepreneurship training and the reduction of imports, and improvement in balance of payments and more.


The January 2017 issue of Mining Global is live!

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Get in touch with our editor Dale Benton at [email protected]


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