ASX-listed Universal Coal has announced that its Brakfontein coal project (50,29 % owned) has now received all licences required for development following the granting of a water use licence by the Department of Water and Sanitation.
Brakfontein is located approximately 20 km from the company’s Kangala colliery in the Witbank coalfield. The projects hosts a JORC 2012 mineral resource of 87,6 Mt inclusive of a proven ore reserve of 9,1 Mt. The coal is bituminous and would have to be beneficiated to produce saleable products.
With the water use licence in place and having already secured both the Mining Right and the Environmental Authorisation in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), the project is now ready for development.
Universal has completed a feasibility study showing potential for the project to be integrated with existing infrastructure and excess capacity at the Kangala mine, thereby substantially reducing capital development costs and the scale of the water licence required.
Kangala, a 2,8 Mt/a ROM open-pit operation, was the first mine to be brought into production by Universal while its second, New Clydesdale Colliery (NCC), has just been commissioned, with first production of coal having occurred on 8 September. NCC is now ramping up to Phase 1 nameplate capacity of 900 000 t/a ROM of export quality thermal coal destined for both domestic and external markets. An underground operation, Phase 1 is expected to achieve full capacity by December this year.