Sasol on Friday opened a new coal mine, in a R5.6bn investment that is geared to supply its Secunda Synfuels Operations.
The company said the facility, located in Mpumalanga province, has the capacity to produce 10.5 million tons coal a year and already employs 1 760 people.
The colliery is one of three mines Sasol has built in the last decade as part of its R14bn mine replacement programme.
"In addition to sustaining some 4 000 jobs, the new mines are critical to securing coal supply to Sasol Secunda Synfuels Operations up to at least 2050," said Sasol Joint President and CEO Bongani Nqwababa.
According to the Minerals Council, South Africa accounts for 3.3% of the world’s annual coal production, and a bulk of the mines are found in Mpumalanga, with other deposits in Limpopo and Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Commenting at the unveiling of the mine, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe hailed the colliery for its contribution to job creation, stressing that coal was still a key part of the country’s energy mix, in line with the country’s Integrated Resource Plan.
"We have an economy to grow, and therefore as government we will continue to prioritise the creation of a stable environment for this economic growth to happen," said Mantashe.
Sasol is the third-largest producer of coal in South Africa, with an output of some 40 million tons per annum.
The business contributes 13% to the company’s earnings.