Big mining move

2008-01-28 00:00

Mineral exploration investment company Miranda Minerals Holding Ltd has taken a major step toward opening four coal mines in northern KwaZulu-Natal, following news that the company had raised an additional R20,7 million to be used toward fulfilling the potential of these sites.

Miranda Chairman Alan Thompson told The Witness that they are confident that the sites could hold as much as 200 million tons of coal.

Thompson said that the process began about two years ago, when they acquired various mineral rights from other mining companies. They were recently granted prospecting rights for four projects in KZN by the Minerals and Energy Department, after a lengthy process.

The company, through its subsidiary Sesikhona, has already entered into a joint venture agreement with Ihlosi to conduct further exploration and (eventual) mining of Sesikhona’s Kliprand coal and anthracite deposit near Dannhauser.

Thompson said they are now in the process of securing deals with various joint venture partners who will come on board on different coal mining projects in KZN.

They will then secure a mining licence for each of the projects.

The partners or “mining contractors” will be responsible for the actual mining of the deposits.

Thompson is hopeful that projects will begin to materialise by the second half of this year.

“These are big deposits. From the geological information that we have, mining could continue for 20 to 30 years.”

Farm Yarl 2962 is located eight kilometres north of Dannhauser and spans 1 215 ha.

According to Miranda, Farm Uithoek falls within the southern part of the Klip River coal fields, about three kilometres south of Glencoe.

Street Spirit Trading (Pty) Ltd covers three contiguous properties, including Burnside 3287, which borders Uithoek, and the two farms Izemfene 9146A and Izemfene 8802B. The deposits could total an impressive 59,9 million tons.

Finally, Point Blank Trading (Pty) Ltd (Farm Lereydale) is located in the district of Dannhauser.

Thompson said that they currently occupy a favourable position given the ongoing energy crisis in South Africa, adding that they have already had inquiries from corporates in South Africa, Australia and Europe. He added that the price of this increasingly precious resource is also expected to rise over the next year.

He stressed that they will ensure that local community members become the main recipients of job creation and skills development. They will also ensure that communities are able to secure shares in each mine.

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