Coal of Africa Limited a coal exploration, development and mining company operating in South Africa, is has announced another step forward in its strategy to grow into a significant coking coal producer in the region. The company provided an update to its resource and reserve estimates for the prospecting areas (tenements) in its Greater Soutpansberg project area located in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The Greater Soutpansberg is a consolidation of nine potential coking and thermal coal assets in the Soutpansberg coalfield, several of which were held under prospecting rights held by the companies whose shares were acquired from Rio Tinto and KweziMining Ltd, in the transaction that closed on 11 May 2012. These have been grouped into three proximate regions, namely Mopane, Makhado and Chapudi.
The updated resource and reserve estimates follow the conclusion of the acquisition in terms of which the shares in companies previously held by Rio Tinto and Kwezi were acquired and the estimates include the coal resources associated with the New Order Prospecting Rights (“NOPRs”) held by those companies as well as other NOPRs over properties in the Greater Soutpansberg already held by CoAL or its subsidiaries.
The Technical Statement indicates an increase in estimated coal resources for the Greater Soutpansberg of more than 1.3 billion mineable tonnes in situ (MTIS) across the measured, indicated and inferred resource categories, principally due to the additional two assets acquired. Additional exploration drilling and delineation of the resources is underway with further increases in the estimated coal resources anticipated upon completion. Additional highlights of the updated resource estimates for the Greater Soutpansberg inclde the following:
- Gross tonnes in situ (GTIS) increased by 429% to 7.957 billion tonnes from 1.505 billion tones.
- Total tonnes in situ (TTIS) increased by 404% to 6.443 billion tonnes from 1.279 billion tones.
- MTIS increased by 209% to 2.004 billion t from 0.648 billion t.
- Total licensed area of 99 719 hectares.
- Acquisition cost of US$ 0.055 per MTIS.
Following the acquisition, the total strike drilled to the extent sufficient to enable declaration of resources under the JORC Code, increased by 106% from 33 km to 68 km. A further 66 km of strike remains to be drilled, representing a substantial opportunity for further increases in the overall resource measured in terms of GTIS, TTIS and MTIS. Coal of Africa chief executive, John Wallington said, “The additional prospecting rights represent an important development in the evolution of Coal of Africa and its partner Rothe Investments, by consolidating the potential coking and thermal coal assets in the Soutpansberg coalfield. Following the conclusion of the Acquisition from Rio Tinto and Kwezi Mining in early May 2012, we are pleased to report a significant increase in the consolidated coking and thermal resources in our Greater Soutpansberg assets taking Coal of Africa’s estimated gross tonnes in situ in this coalfield from 1.5 billion t to approximately 8 billion t.
“Having completed the Acquisition, we have started the exploration programmes and related technical work required to evaluate the potential of these assets in the Greater Soutpansberg area. We will continue to provide progress updates to the markets as we reach our milestones.
“With this platform in place, the company is well positioned to achieve its goal of creating a … coking coal business producing in excess of 10 million tpa of saleable coking coal over the next ten years. The further upside potential of export grade thermal coal and middlings from our various assets remains attractive. On a broader basis, we continue to focus on our near term objectives of ramping up Vele to full production, and finalising the various work streams and Definitive Feasibility Study on the Makhado Project.”
Adapted from a press release by David Bizley
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