Spiral view of
the Vele wash
Johannesburg, South Africa — 25 April 2012 – The first shipment of coal from Coal of Africa’s (CoAL’s) first producing coking coal colliery in South Africa, the Vele mine in the Limpopo province, has been loaded into 30 rail wagons at the Musina siding and has left for export to Asia.

A company statement released here explains that this first ‘test’ shipment train of approximately 1,500t of thermal coal is destined for the Matola Terminal in Maputo, Mozambique, from where it will be shipped and sold to Asian markets.

The coal was produced as part of the plant product test work that is currently being conducted on both metallurgical and thermal coal at Vele. “A key objective of this test train run is to determine axle load capacity of the Transnet Freight Services (TFR) line between Groenbult and Hoedspruit. The test run is expected to confirm TFR’s capacity to commence regular, weekly trains from this existing siding and on the existing line,” the statement adds.

The shipment coincided with the official delivery of the Vele plant from the project engineering consultants ELB Engineering Services to Vele mine management.

Production at the Vele colliery resumed in December 2011 with the extraction of run of mine (ROM) material. Wet commissioning of the plant was completed in December 2011 and hot commissioning in February 2012. Further test work is currently being undertaken to confirm the design of processing infrastructure and to enable the recovery of additional coking coal from the slimes portion of the coal, as well as the production of a secondary thermal product other than coking coal.

Speaking at the mine, Coal of Africa CEO John Wallington noted that this was a landmark occasion for the group. He reiterated the company’s commitment to developing a ‘new model’ for sustainable development in the coal sector, and to ongoing consultation and interaction with all stakeholders.

Source: Coal of Africa Limited. For more information, click here.