Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 16 September 2010 – South African diversified miner Exxaro Resources Limited “’ which mines for coal, mineral sands and some base metals “’ could start building a R200 million power plant at its Namakwa Sands titanium smelter on South Africa’s west coast by about March next year, if the project proves viable.
“Exxaro would use its own funds to finance the plant, which would generate about 13 megawatts using waste gas from the titanium operations,” according to company energy manager Thomas Garner. He also revealed that the company had found “substantial” coal-bed methane gas in Botswana, which it could import into South Africa through a pipeline.
Exxaro “’ one of South Africa’s biggest coal miners “’ is studying the projects as it diversifies to reduce its reliance on coal and pursue cleaner energy. “The company has formed an energy unit, and will set it up as a separate energy company in about six months’ time,” Garner said.
Companies including Exxaro and Sasol are building power plants to reduce their reliance on state-owned electricity utility Eskom Holdings Limited, following a power shortage that temporarily closed platinum and gold mining in South Africa in 2008.