KZN coal mining set for major revival

2008-09-16 00:00

Although a colliery near Dannhauser in northern KZN is poised to commence production later this year, the possible combination of several “farms” in Glencoe into a mine may mark the true revival of KZN coal mining.

The Glencoe site — comprising Burnside, Uithoek, Wasbank, Boschoek and Boschkloof — potentially represents a 100-million ton project for mineral exploration investment company Miranda Minerals Holding.

Miranda’s financial director, Wayne Ison, told The Witness that Miranda hopes to commence mining in that area towards late 2009, once they secure all the necessary environmental and mining approvals.

“First and second phase drilling has been done. About 75% of it is high-grade coking coal. There could be about 100 million tons in total. That would justify the development of a mine. Now, the process is to do the environmental impact assessments and complying with all the department of Minerals and Energy’s requirements,” he said.

Ison explained that most of the coal extracted from their sites will be used in the production of steel, due to the “high” quality of the coal.

The company is bullish about the prospects of coal mining in KZN and it holds extensive mineral rights on coalfields in the province.

Ison said Miranda’s Sesikhona Kliprand Colliery near Dannhauser, which boasts a possible 22-million ton deposit, will be the first project to come on line in KZN.

The company’s subsidiary, Sesikhona, entered into a joint venture agreement with Ihlosi to develop the potential of the Kliprand coal and anthracite deposit.

“This represents a broad-based BEE venture at project level. The community is actively involved in this project. About 120 people have been employed and this figure should grow,” he said.

kavith@witness.co.za

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